Based on my experience of making wine from this vineyard professionally every vintage since 1991 (and informal home winemaking dating from the mid-1970s), I have an impression of what best expresses this site and allows for a long aging curve that allows us to enjoy this wine over 5 to 10 years…with food. Sometimes it is healthy to challenge that notion in order to either validate our current sense of aesthetics or to advance them.
I selected several extremely small lots from the old vineyard planted in 1912 that were both higher in sugar content and unusually ‘expressive,’ fermenting and barreling them separately. Both vintages completed fermentation at over 16% alcohol. Normally, we do not flirt with even 15%. During blending trials for the 2005 and 2006 Old & Mature Vines (OMV) Zinfandels, I was quite prepared to blend them all away to the potential benefit to our OMV. Happily, for all, we found that keeping these separate made for more bottles of superior wine of both kinds. This is an experiment that may or may not continue according to the needs of the OMV. But I am proud of the results for the ‘Special Cuvée’ as well as the OMV.