The 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel from the Schoolhouse Vineyard is showing a mix of red and black fruit on the nose and palate. The black cheery, plum and briar complement the more savory characteristics of spicy black pepper, clove and cedar. The palate is medium bodied with well integrated tannins, lush fruit and a baking spice 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. Once primary fermentation is complete, the wine is drained from the bins and pumped to tank where 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, adding dimension yet maintaining the fruit and spice character.
The Schoolhouse Vineyard located in the Dry Creek Valley, 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.