Vintage:   Wine:

2008 Zinfandel, Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vines, Alexander Valley

2008 Zinfandel, Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vines, Alexander Valley
This old-vine vineyard consistently produces one of the most sought-after wines that Dashe Cellars makes, and at this point in our history we’ve made Todd Brothers Ranch zinfandels for eleven vintages. These thick, gnarled vines planted on the steep red rock slope in Geyserville (in Alexander Valley, Sonoma county) always produce jet-black, intensely-flavored and very complex grapes.

History

Each year they consistently produce a very characteristic intense wine filled with flavors of chocolate, blackberry, and beautiful floral and spice aromatics.   In 2008, the growing conditions were such that we produced one of the most balanced, luscious Todd Brothers Zinfandels.

Production

As is our tradition, we harvested the Todd Brothers Ranch grapes before any of our other grapes, in early September. The grapes were trucked to the winery in ½ ton picking bins, and then hand sorted—to remove any materials other than grapes or less than perfect grapes—on a conveyor belt on their way to the crusher.  We fermented the grapes using our traditional method of native yeast fermentation, using the yeasts on the surface of the grapes to ferment the grape must. This native yeast method maximizes flavor, color, and complexity from the grapes. At dryness, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press and pumped to traditional 60-gallon French oak barrels.

The wine was aged for 14 months in one-year-old or older French oak barrels—we prefer the flavor of the fruit to not be overpowered by too much oak flavor.  Although we often add just a bit of Petite Syrah from the vineyard when “topping” the barrels, we decided the wine was perfect as it was when we were having our blending trials.  Therefore, no additional lots were blended in, resulting in a wine that was 100% from the Todd Brothers Ranch, and 99% Zinfandel. We feel this wine should easily improve with eight or more years of bottle age.

Production Notes

Varietals: 99% Zinfandel, 1% Petite Syrah
Appellation: Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
Alcohol: 14.8% by vol.
Time in oak: 14 months
Oak: One year old or older French barrels
Production: 511 cases, 750mL
Release date: July 1, 2010
Sugg. retail price: $32.00 bottle, 750mL
Optimum time for consumption: 2010-2018
Aromas: Floral notes of lavender and violets, followed by deep earthy and fruity flavors of blackberry, cassis, chocolate, mineral, anise, and black pepper.

Tasting Notes

Color: Purple-black.
Taste: Quite balanced and mouthfilling, with complex flavors of blackberry and cassis fruit, followed by chocolate, licorice, and peppery spice. Substantial tannins will soften with age. Intense, complex finish.