The aromatics are a nice mix of fruit and spice including black cherry, raspberry and plum together with allspice, nutmeg and hints of clove. This is a medium bodied wine with good fruit on the palate, teasing spice notes giving an impression of sweetness on the finish.
Mature fruit is picked early morning when cool and firm and processed quickly by de-stemming to small fermentation bins. The cool fruit is allowed to warm slowly where spontaneous fermentation begins. Hand punch downs are done several times a day to extract the color, flavor, and aromas of the fruit. Yeast fermentation finishes, and the wine is drained from the bins and pumped to tank where the malolactic fermentation is confirmed, then the wine is racked to barrels. Barrel aged in 100% French oak, 30% is new, for 14 months to round out the edges, add dimension yet maintain the fruit and spice character.
The Schoolhouse Vineyard is located in the Dry Creek Valley, in Sonoma County, is owned by one of the oldest grape growing families in the region. The vineyard is in the northern part of the valley, close to Lake Sonoma, on an eastern bench, facing southwest. The location allows for these old vines, between 60-80 years old, to benefit both from the warm summer days and cooling breezes from the pacific ocean. The vines are head trained and dry farmed in the true tradition of farming Zinfandel.