This is a case of 6 of the Old & Mature and 6 of the Shale Terrace. Limits and allocation for Shale Terrace Futures apply. Futures price: $310 per case to be released April 2023
2021 Scherrer Vineyard ‘Old & Mature Vines’ Zinfandel Futures
The growing season started out very dry, with rainfall essentially ending in April. It made for much easier soil cultivation work but we were a bit concerned about the vines making it through the season, especially the hundred year-plus old Zinfandel vines that don’t have any supplemental irrigation. However, due to the soil type and the rootstock’s tendency to explore the soil profile very deeply, these old vines made it just fine. And the remaining mature vines that do have supplemental drip irrigation available were grateful for a little help too. This is especially welcome to the vines after harvest when there is a flush of root growth and reserves for the next Spring are built up if there is sufficient soil moisture.
While I will fine-tune the blend if needed before bottling, the current iteration is much like the 2018 vintage with a tad more generosity. There is plenty of non-fruit to balance the fruit and good, deep, resolved tannic structure, though. Red plums, black raspberry, hibiscus tea, hints of rose hips and pie crust lead the aromas. It evenly engages the mouth, immediately initiating salivation and anticipation of another glass or another bite of food. The hibiscus and raspberry hide a serious dose of minerality that leaps out like from a Trojan Horse at night. In this case, the surprise is very welcome.
At harvest, I racked a part of our Zinfandel from pressing tank to barrel using a 25 year old Costco generator when the late October storm brought flooding and power outages. It is important to prepare for the unknown where possible even if on a tiny budget. Only about 500 cases will be produced. Estimated release price: $42 per bottle. Futures price: $310 per case to be released April 2023.
2021 Scherrer Vineyard ‘Shale Terrace’ Zinfandel Futures
The past few years the Shale Terrace bottling has really captured my heart. The stone fruit thing has always been a strange, consistent, lovely signature. But I am seeing a little more red raspberry lately. I’m not sure why as we are not really changing anything in the winemaking and I doubt the droughty conditions are the cause: 2014 was one such vintage and it was a bit more dark-fruited than usual. Despite the moderate pH, the acidity shows more than one would think. This is truly a rule-breaker site.
Besides the typical stone fruit/nectarine thing, there is Santa Rosa plum, red raspberry, hibiscus, with slight savory back notes emerging as well. But the thing about this wine is the perfumes! It takes to Burgundy-type barrels while the OMV seems to lean toward an affinity to Cognac and Bordeaux barrels, probably due to the different structural architecture they possess.
Because this is a limited production wine, we must manage what we’re able to offer on futures. We have honored peoples’ past support of this wine and give those that purchased Shale in the past (even just a bottle) ‘first crack’ and orders received by August 3 will be processed first in the order they are received while supplies last. Those who have not bought Shale before may place an order which will be placed on the ‘wish list’. Those orders will be filled in the order they are received if there are futures still available after the first-crack August 3 deadline.
And not to fear, we also hold back some of the Shale from futures so we will have some available at release next April so those not in the ‘first-crack’ offering can have a few bottles. About 160 cases to be produced. Release price $42 /bottle. Futures price: $310 per case to be released April 2023