2016 Martin Ray Puccioni Vineyards Zinfandel
Farmed by Glenn Procter, fourth generation to the ranch, who’s inital plantings date back to 1904. Set deep into a small valley on the western side of Dry Creek, its terraced slopes are surrounded by redwood groves. Often one of the last lots to ripen, it is worth the wait in its development of its opulent concentrated flavors. The appellation has a special reputation for its robust Zinfandel, and this is no exception.
Much to the delight of both grape growers and winemakers, the 2016 vintage carried through from beginning to end, with ideal conditions and ideal results. Long-awaited rainfall during the winter and early spring replenished desperate reservoirs and ground water, easing the concerns generated by several years’ worth of drought conditions. The summer was kind, with only a few heat spikes, which then carried over into a true Indian Summer; keeping daytime temperatures above normal, and the mornings foggy and cool throughout the peak month of September, permitting us to take our time in evaluating and calling picks at their optimal maturity. Nature patiently waited for us to bring in our final lots before returning with the rain that has traditionally been the signal for the end of the harvest season. Harvest September 26th.
Our Zinfandel grapes are carefully hand-sorted and destemmed into a small open-top fermenter where they are cold-soaked for up to 4 days before being inoculated with a voracious Rhone yeast developed to be able to withstand the high natural sugars of the Zinfandel while promoting the signature jammy fruit aromas. It ferments at warm temperatures for 10-15 days, then basket pressed and racked to a carefully chosen combination of primarily French oak barrels, with a small portion of Hungarian and American for 16 months of aging. Harvested September 26th.
This stellar example is overflowing with aromas of fresh raspberry jam, fresh blueberry, dried blackberry leaves and the spiciness of cloves and cinnamon stick with a distinct undertone of black tea. The medium body is substantial without being cloying, while the bright acidity adds a zesty
quality to the balanced fruit.