92 Points | Wine Spectator | February 2019
90 Points | Jeb Dunnuck | June 2019
This Zinfandel possesses a unique bouquet of boysenberry and white chocolate dust. The wine leads with a bright yet velvety mouth-feel, with savory elements and a pop of ripe berry. Hints of candied apple, black tea, and lavender stand out as the wine transitions to a lively citrus undertone wrapped in delicate textures within the long, lingering 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.
Located in the Mayacamas Mountain range, the Montecillo Vineyard sits high on the western slope of the mountains overlooking Sonoma Valley. At 1400 feet elevation, the western exposure provides the heat and sunlight to ripen the Zinfandel vines and the well-drained soil contributes to smaller crops with highly concentrated, full-flavored fruit. The resulting wine is rich and lush.
This vineyard is split into three distinct blocks: Terraces, Head Trained and Trellised. Each block is fermented independently to showcase the unique characteristics of its micro-climate. Short cold-soaks are used to promote aroma development, followed by an easy slow fermentation to balance out the mouthfeel. The lots are then racked to barrel on their fine lees to undergo malolactic in 40% new French oak. Halfway through aging, the blend is made according to taste and texture that reflects this very special site. The wine is then put back to the barrel to complete 18 months of aging before bottling.