2016 Russian River Valley "Montafi Ranch" Zinfandel
11% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Aubun, Grand Noir, Petite Sirah, Peloursin, Trousseau noir, Syrah, Petit Bouschet, Cinsault)
If the mark of a grand cru quality vineyard is consistency, then certainly Montafi Ranch qualifies. Year in and year out, Montafi Ranch is always in the discussion of “favorite Carlisle Zinfandel of the year.” For 2016, Block 1 was picked on September 13th while Block 2 was picked a week later on September 20th. As customary, each lot was fully destemmed, cold-soaked for five days, and pressed to all French oak, 24% new, after 18 days on the skins. Bottled without fining or filtration.
Medium-dark to dark garnet-ruby. Noticeably darker than the 2015. Interestingly, no discernable eucalyptus aromas in this vintage. Nevertheless, still an utterly compelling nose of red cherry and raspberry highlighted by notes of sage and underbrush. On the palate, the nobility of this great site shines through. Totally seamless. Perfect finish. Hard to ask for anything more from a wine, regardless of variety. While very enjoyable now, given the harmony and balance of this wine, it should age quite well. Drink from release through 2027. (MRO – 01/18/18)