July 1994 Pre-release: In 1993 we harvested Zinfandel from the same block of old vineyard planted by my Grandfather in the 1910s, including a small area of younger, yet mature vineyard adjacent to the old block. I had hoped to keep the various fermenters from the different areas separate, but was obliged to blend them shortly after pressing in order to coax each fermentation on to completion. (Traces of sugar left after an incomplete fermentation could indicate sterile filtration before bottling so that the wine does not become a “sparkling” wine in your cellar.) The ’93 Zin successfully completed fermentation, so I still have the opportunity to bottle without filtration, as usual. Although we lost an opportunity to assess the wine made from the two different blocks as they develop in barrel, it was more than made up for in overall wine quality enhancement as all of the elements have come together extremely well. Our 1993 Zin has got to be the most generous and hedonistic wine we have made yet.
March 1995 Release: We are pleased to announce the release of our 1993 Scherrer Vineyard Zinfandel. It is our third release from my family’s Alexander Valley vineyard, and definitely the most hedonistic, generous wine we have yet bottled. Since August 1994, the last time most people tasted the 1993 Zinfandel, the wine has developed nicely. It has shed some of its “baby fat” (bubble-gummy fruitiness) and gained a very nice cedar note to support its beautiful raspberry-cherry perfume. In the mouth, the wine has become a seamless, multi-layered feast. At our barrel tasting last August, I thought the wine would be bottled sometime in December. When December arrived, the wine was not yet perfectly ready to bottle, so I waited until it was ready in mid-February (contrary to what a growing number of winemakers seem to be practicing, one cannot substitute extra bottle ageing for a lack of barrel aging). Until wines begin reading calendars, winemakers should read wines.