July 1996 Pre-release: The 1995 harvest was another low crop year. We harvested the same vineyard areas as last year, so unfortunately, we were unable to increase the amount of wine made. My favorite part of the oldest vineyard block planted in 1912 (the ‘Old’ part), made a very intense, brooding, concentrated component for our wine this year. Another part of the vineyard (the ‘Mature’ part), made a really juicy, blackberry/raspberry wine with classical Zinfandel varietal character. Yet another area, nearest to the woods, gave us a very soft, lively wine with an interesting strawberry-rhubarb pie character. It was difficult to wait for this last area to ripen fully because of deer damage. They kept coming out of the woods during the night to sample the fruit and shoots, severely pruning the vines about six months too soon. This made the pros and cons of waiting for proper flavor development a passionately debated topic of family discussion. Anyway, the grapes not eaten by the deer, made it to the winery in good shape and all three areas complement each other quite well.
April 1997 Release: Your 1995 Zinfandel was bottled on February 18, and is just barely getting used to living in glass instead of wood. This wine has developed similarly to the forward and generous 1993 vintage. I have been very pleased with how the oak lengthens and draws out the finish of the wine, rather than shortening and toughening it. Although it tasted darned nice right now, it will be more ’together’ in several months.