2000 Alexander Valley Zinfandel
The grapes for this wine come from the oldest block of the St. Clair Vineyard in Alexander Valley. I asked George St. Clair, now 94 years old, if he knew how old the vines were. Chewing on a stump of an old cigar, he grumbled, "Hell, these were old vines when my father bought the ranch in 1930!" It's no surprise then that yields were barely 2/3 of a ton an acre.
Gently destemmed, leaving about 60% whole berries, the must was cold soaked for 6 days before inoculation with an alcohol tolerant yeast isolate known as " Williams-Selyem ". After 14 days on the skins, the wine was pressed into 2 to 3 year-old French oak barrels.
On the nose, lifted aromas of chocolate, ripe red cherries, and pomegranate. An intriguing floral, honey note as well. The wine enters very full and rich, leading to a wonderful burst of cherry fruit in the mouth. Ample acidity (amazingly, all from the grapes, none was added) helps lead to a long finish. This Zinfandel is appealing now but should continue to drink well for 2 to 5 years from vintage date. (MRO - 12/15/01)