2003 Sonoma Valley "Rossi Ranch" Zinfandel
20% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir)
Ahhh!!! The Rossi Ranch! This is a vineyard very near and dear to my heart, having worked with it as a home winemaker for many years in the '90s. In fact, my first amateur gold medal was for my 1993 Rossi Ranch Zinfandel. Planted in 1910, the organically farmed old vines barely yield any fruit (especially after the deer have had there fill!) but what they do yield is always outstanding. Keeping to the spirit of the vineyard, we fermented indigenously and after 24 days on the skin, pressed to French oak, 25% new. Bottled unfiltered.
Medium-dark ruby. An absolutely gorgeous nose of blackberries, fresh cream, earth, and tar. Something wild about it. Damn it smells delicious! On the palate, full bodied yet very harmonious with plenty of wild blackberry fruit. Not as bright and zinberry-ish as our other Zins but darker, blacker, more mysterious, perhaps from the abundant inter-planted Alicante Bouschet and Grand Noir. A lick of tannin on the finish suggests this wine will age nicely. Drink from late-2006 through 2012. (MRO - 8/7/05)