Intense aromas of plum and black cherry with notes of boysenberry fill the nose followed by matching flavors on the palate that are layered with white pepper and coriander. Solid texture with moderate tannins, rich long lingering flavors, and a firm 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. The wine was then aged for 14 months in mostly new and neutral French oak barrels to round out the edges and add dimension to the wine while maintaining the fruit and spice character.
The Schoolhouse Vineyard 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, over 70 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.