2014 Russian River Valley "Saitone Ranch" Zinfandel
3% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petit Bouschet)
Planted in 1895, Saitone Ranch is one of if not the oldest vineyards in the Piner-Olivet region of the Russian River Valley. Most blocks are largely Zinfandel with only the occasional Carignane, Vacaresse, or Criolla Mediana vine but two of our blocks contain a very large amount of Palomino (with lesser amounts of Muscadelle and Colombard) that is picked separately for The Derivative (a fall release). There is also one small block (only a third of an acre) of nearly 100% teinturiers (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petit Bouschet). It’s not much percentage-wise but it goes a long way to ensuring our Zinfandel has plenty of color. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Medium to dark brilliant ruby-red. Textbook Russian River Zin aromas of black raspberry, amarena (a dark Italian bitter cherry), and spice, especially white and black pepper. Actually smells like it came from very intense, concentrated old-vine fruit. On the palate, gorgeous texture with an explosion of spicy red and black fruits. There’s even a fascinating note of minerality, a salinity if you will, to the wine. Despite its powerful flavors and aromas, surprisingly lithe. Maybe it’s the amarena, but it does make me think of Aglianicos from Campania in Southern Italy. A fine long finish. Drink from 2017 through 2024. (MRO – 01/19/16)