2000 Russian River Valley "Gum Tree Ranch" Zinfandel
3% Petite Sirah
3% Alicante Bouschet
With two Russian River Zinfandels in 2000 (three in 2001!), we've been forced to vineyard designate. Gum Tree Ranch, however, was the source of our 1999 Russian River Zinfandel. Century-old vines, ridiculously low yields. Bits of interplanted Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Somehow this vineyard has managed to resist the continuing sprawl of Santa Rosa. I wonder though for how much longer.
Picked in late October before a big rain storm, the must was cold soaked for 5 days before inoculating with one of my favorite yeasts, Assmanhausen. A long cool fermentation ensued, leading to pressing 12 days later. Aged in all French oak, 40% new, this wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered in January 2002.
Dark garnet in color. Very intense, lifted aromas of eucalyptus, ginger, bay, and mint. On the palate, plenty of juicy black fruits (blackberry, boysenberry). Thoroughly ripe but with acidity and structure to ensure an optimum drinking window up to seven years after the vintage. (MRO - 12/15/01)