2016 Old Vine Zinfandel
The grapes for this Zinfandel come from the Pines Vineyard in the Columbia Valley, a few miles south of The Dalles, Oregon. The vineyard is terraced. Tractors in the early 1900's weren't able to climb such steep slopes. Soils are sparse - the area has one of the greatest day and night temperature differences in the country, 50 degree swings are not uncommon. The very warm days ripen the Zinfandel beautifully and the cool nights retain balanced acidity.
Planted around the turn of the century by an immigrant Italian stonemason, the Pines Vineyard was neglected for many years until vineyard manager Lonnie Wright started resurrecting the vines in the early '80's.
This is a very special vineyard for us. Year in and year out it produces one of the most interesting wines we make. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most interesting wines we can get our hands on.
We work to keep it so. In 2016 we had a good sized crop on the old vineyard, harvested very early in a hot vintage. We treat it very gently in the winery, delicately destemming the fruit, gravity racking, aging in the best barrels we have.
The 2016 is another beautiful Old Vine Zin - in a long string of very good ones. It is very dark, highly aromatic, with a huge, mouthfilling texture and a long, long finish. If you think old vines don’t matter, you’re wrong and this wine should help convince you.
Every year the wine has perfect acid balance (without adjustment) achieving two goals: great match with food, and a long life. The '94 we made still hasn't peaked.
This is very special wine from a very special vineyard.