Zinfandel — real Zinfandel — has quite an array of variably ripening fruit all on the same cluster. I have only seen uniform ripening once since I have been paying close attention, since the early 1970s (at about age 14). This is part of its varietal typicity, and quite possibly the origin of much of the perfume that the finest examples achieve. Our 2008 Zinfandel, just being released now, was about the tiniest harvest in memory, yet yielded more concentrated, structured and age-worthy wine than usual. Again, opportunity is found within challenge.
Because of bloom-time weather discussed above, the yields were barely 1 ton per acre — less than half our typical amount. There are black and blue fruit notes, some interesting floral/herbal notes like (good) after-shave, but at this stage, just before bottling, much of it seems to want to stay inside the wine kind of like how a ‘black hole’ sucks light and energy back into itself within the ‘event-horizon.’ Although very different growing seasons, I’m reminded a lot of 1999’s promise for the future.