Neyers Zinfandel Contra Costa County Pato Vineyard 2005
Planted in 1896, these vines on Rich Pato's Oakley vineyard are now over 110 years old -- a reminder of California's long viticultural history. They are among a small percentage of vines remaining in production from this once busy grape growing region. The vines are completely dry farmed, and the crop is naturally low. We harvest the fruit by hand, move it to the winery in refrigerated trucks, and ferment in our custom-built open-top tanks for a 30-day skin contact period. We get everything this old-vine fruit has to offer. In a great year like 2005, the wine is a testament to the importance of these old Zinfandel parcels.
The wine pours lighter then I expected. Only a medium red to ruby color, this wine smells like stewed fruit, red berries and a bit of spice and pepper. It tastes wonderful. Lots of fruit up front. Berries, red and black with a bit of tart cranberry too. It has a rich sweetness to the fruit. It is mouth filling and satisfying. I was thrilled. Many zins can border on sweet and have a syrupy cloying finish. . Many are high in alcohol and will burn on the finish. This wine, although 15.5% alcohol, has a long balanced finish and avoids cloying sweetness. I loved it. If you have a chance to try some of Neyer's wines you will be pleased you did.