93 Points | Wine Advocate
Gold Medal | SF Chronicle Wine Competition
This compelling Alexander Valley Zinfandel exhibits heady aromas of ripe red berries, fresh sage leaf, and a subtle breadth of minerality. Hints of plum, black cherry, and cassis are introduced at the front of the palate, while satiating layers of maple, pie spice, and dark chocolate cordial ripple across the broad mouthfeel. A firm structure and velvet-like acidity hold steady through the succulent finish.
Harvest in 2016 started in the middle of August during a pattern of warm sunny days cooled by foggy mornings and breezy afternoons for most of the area. The early months of the year were very mild with little rain allowing the vines to progress steadily and uneventfully. Yields throughout the region were slightly below average but moderate weather starting in early summer gave the fruit plenty of time to develop great color and flavor, resulting in beautifully balanced wines.
The Banti Vineyard in Alexander Valley was planted with Zinfandel in the late 1950s by Art Banti and his father Frank. Today the property is cared for by Art and his wife Sara, carrying on a family tradition of farming that started with Art’s grandparents who came from Italy in the 1900s. Once planted with apples, prunes, and hops, this historic valley, located just north of Healdsburg, is now home to many vineyards that flourish in the warm summer months.
The grapes undergo a cold soak before fermentation to extract optimal color and aroma. After primary fermentation, the wine is pumped into French oak barrels, where it undergoes natural malolactic fermentation, followed by 16 months of aging.