This is the first year we made a Venturi Vineyard Zinfandel, and we are very happy with how it turned out. The Zin is from the same rocky spine (former Russian River bed) as the old vine Carignan block. It is fermented in the same way as the Venturi Vineyard Carignan as well. The Zinfandel, however, is young vine (on average less than 15 year old) and a mix of clones. This parcel has been planted to grapes for over 100 years however, so the young vine nature of this block is less apparent than young vines on previously unplanted soils. Venturi Vineyard is on predominantly Pinole gravelly loam soils. Containing a mixture of sandstone, shale and quartz, these deep, well-drained soils were formed from alluvial flows, depositing fist-sized stones along the way.
We ferment this Zinfandel 100% whole cluster. A small portion of whole clusters are foot tread and placed in the bottom of the tank, then un-tread clusters are put on top. We foot-tread or perform body punchdowns for about a week until things are soft enough to gently pumpover. Because grapes are broken up slowly over time, sugars are also released slowly rather than all at once, resulting in a slower fermentation. We do one delestage ~2/3 through fermentation, and allow for a 28-day maceration before pressing. The wine ages in neutral barrels for 12 months on lees, is racked, and bottled. The minimal SO2 found in this wine is due to spot sulfuring specific barrels in the lot during the year of aging.
This wine has a compelling aroma of tamarind-chili candy, white pepper, wet stone, and charcuterie. All enticing you to take a sip where you will find flavors of spiced plum, black tea, and sun baked jam.