2012 Dry Creek Zinfandel “secret” vineyard

Alcohol
15.4%
Total acidity
6.6
pH
3.6
rs
<.05 g/l
Serving temp.
65°F
Best from
2014
Best until
2020
Pairings
BBQ, anything on the grill, pizza and burgers. Medium spiced Spanish or Mexican dishes. Paella is lovely with Zinfandel, or just a Lazy day by the pool.

Grapes

Grapes for this wine came from a magical vineyard, just this side of Oz.  Seriously, we can’t disclose the vineyard, due to its highly decorated nature.  But suffice it to say, these are the most sought-after grapes and have won the wine spectator accolades for top 100 wines at least 6 times so far.  How did we acquire these “magic beans?” Lots of persistence.  Constant annoying, haranguing, difficult-to-ignore persistence.  And sometimes, that’s what it takes.  I’d do it all over again if it would net me this fruit.  The growers who farm this vineyard are the most diligent, meticulous, hard-to-please people in the business.  Which means this was the most beautiful fruit I’ve had the pleasure to work with.  And all I tried to do was not mess it up.

Vintage

Even in Oz, the 2012 vintage was picture perfect–exceedingly long for full physiological ripeness, plus the perfect median of cool and hot, with no late season rains to threaten mold and mildew. This is some happy fruit.  Coming in with chemistry numbers to make a winemaker swoon, I can’t find a thing to complain about.

Vinification

These grapes arrived in beautiful condition, and after a light (almost unnecessary) sorting, went into the destemmer with no crushing.  15% whole clusters went into the fermentation vats for tannins and structure.  Two different yeasts were used for a more varied flavor profile.  After fermentations were complete (around 2.5-3 weeks), the wine was gently pressed off the skins and sent to barrels for malolactic fermentation.  Left in barrel for 17 months, with 40% new French and American oak, this wine was racked only twice.  Taken out of barrel in March to blend in tank before bottle in April, this wine will be ready to drink in May.

Tasting notes

Zin. This wine tastes like the embodiment of Zinfandel.  My favorite grape, zin is like your best friend.  Comfortable, cozy, interesting and playful.  The person you most want to spend a day off with.  It doesn’t care what you are wearing or if your house is clean.  It’s just happy to be around.  Berry, jam, pepper and spice.   A long, seductive finish with just the right amount of acidity to make you want another sip.  If you look closely, a little green pepper and raspberry keep things bright.  Medium bodied with a beautiful claret hue, this wine is drinking beautifully now, but will improve over the next 5-7 years.  Don’t wait that long.