ZAP: Forum of Flavors
Three fascinating expressions of Zinfandel
Bedrock Vineyard Zinfandel
Planted in the 1880s in Sonoma Valley
Originally planted in 1854, and mostly replanted on rootstock in 1888. In the middle of the southern middle of Sonoma Valley. A larger vineyard with some Cabernet in it. Right along Sonoma creek. Soils have quite a bit of texture, lots of rocks in an alluvial fan. All volcanic, very typically of Sonoma valley. Sustainably framed moving toward organic farming. Primarily dry framed, planted cover crops. 22 varieties are planted, though the majority is Zin with Petite Sirah, Alicante, and Carignane. has enough Syrah in the vineyard to lends elf the wines a spicy, savoriness. 37 acres, two soil types, tuscan red soil series, the varieties planted on the heavier soils are quite different, folks in thw 1880s were obviously paying attention to the soil types when planting.
Earthy and aromatic with hints of ash, leather, and meaty black fruits on the nose. Rather mineral, savory, oily and complex with slow to emerge, very fresh and detailed black berry fruit. Lovely blend of freshness and complexity. Rich, a bit extracted up front, lots of chewy fruit tannins up front and fine acids lending freshness to the plummy fruit and dried pork sausage flavors with lovely length to the lingonberry, loganberry finish. 93pts
Joel Peterson: open top fermentations, native yeasts, About ten to twelve days on the skins, has a very particular tannin structure, all French oak, about 20% new, the balance three to four years old, a barrel sample, wine will be bottled in May, five to seven percent Alicante, 79% Zinfandel, I love this for ints perfume. It's structured yet elegant.
Fairly oaky early on the nose with ginger spice and toasty graham cracker notes. Just a little bit of air bring out the fruit, huckleberry and dried herb framed with a sweet/savory, meaty core. Has a fine herb undercurrent. Fresh and bright on entry, nicely delimited on the palate with some firm tannins adding cut to the palate. There's a slightly medicinal tone to the blueberry tinged fruit here, briary and earthy with a modest finish that shows an earthy, savory edge and a sweet tinge of oak on the finale which shows lovey candied raspberry and strawberry rhubarb accent. 91pts
Pax Mahle: picked on September 19th, destemmed this, not crushed, pumped over, on its skins for 15 days, basket pressed into a SS tank, where it stayed for two weeks, to give it a chance to complete malo in anything but wood which provides for a cleaner midpalate with more cut and clarity. Bottled after ten months.
Fresh and floral with briary accents to the dark and slightly jammy fruit that shows a bit of asphalt, and fish sauce along with a hint of tamarind. Focused, slightly minty big bramble berry fruit on the nose. Smooth and elegant on entry with a low, soft entry that leads to a midpalate of bright, juicy red fruit layered over spice and subtle wood tones. Crystal clear on the palate with sour cherry and tart cherry pit fruits which lead to a spicy, elegant and long finish. Broad shouldered, briary and pure. Very attractive with a long, juicy finish. 93pts
Mike Dashe: 98% Zinfandel with just a touch of Petite Sirah. Looking for texture and velvetiness in our wines. Our first vintage with Bedrock fruit. All native yeast fermentation, Fermented in picking bins and punched down four times a day. Cluster sorted and about an eighth of whole cluster was added to the bins before adding destemming fruit, no crushing. Aged in older 500 liter puncheons, two or three year old, the texture on the wine reflects this.
Tight and reticent with a spicy, old vineyard almost olive scents to the dark black fruit with some vanilla base notes. Meaty and slightly sweet on the nose. Tight and a bit hard on the nose. Similar on entry, a bit firm then this fans out and fills the mouth with textural richness. The flavors remain reticent and this is rather extracted and dense with little detail. Lots of tannin on the finish, touch old school. Minty, black, and matte. Probably will improve with age but this just shows some hints of black fruit. Shows a hint of heat of the finale. 89pts
Jeff Ames: still in barrel and has never been racked, about 30% new wood, All destemmed, put into a single vessel, fermented to about 90F, all native yeast, twelve days on the skins, finishes primary fermentation in barrel, along with malo, will be bottled in August
Jammy with lots of spice, a little jasmine and ginseng spice, dark black, slightly tarry fruit. Gorgeous fruit on entry, this is a verging on fruit bomb, ripe, rich and supple with good acids supporting tart black fruits that shows some meaty base notes. Has a bit of mincemeat pie tone here with lots of soft acids that pick up the back end and drive the long, slightly spicy finish. Oak really shows on the finish. This stumbles on the finish but shows terrific fruit on the palate. 90pts
Phil Staehle was unable to attend so Morgan filled in: native yeast fermentation to start then inoculated, took six month to got through malo in neutral barrels, will be bottled in three weeks,
GDP: A wide range of styles were presented today but the overarching theme is savoriness and spice with a fairly tannic profile for Zinfandel and a notably spiced, slightly exotic nose.