WHOLE-BERRY, HAPPY ZIN
BY JOSHUA GREEN
Mike Dashe lists this wine among the “light reds” in his production and, at 13.5 percent alcohol, it is significantly lighter than most contemporary zins. Its strength is in the evocation of a place. It grows in Redwood Valley, part of the Eagle Peak AVA established in 2014. Golden Vineyards owns the 1,000-acre ranch, where it limits the vineyard parcels to 60 acres, the farming certified biodynamic. Dashe ferments the wine as whole berries with some whole clusters and without added yeasts, then ages it in a 900-gallon French oak barrel, bottling with limited sulfur. It tastes as if the yeasts have consumed only enough of the whole berries that the structure and shape of the grape is still intact, allowing light to shine through the skin. Those skins hold bright tannins, thriving with energy, providing thorns to the rose scents and iron to the dark plum and pomegranate flavors. A bottle will go fast as it’s a wine to make you smile. (373 cases)
We take this fruit from the biodynamically farmed Heart Arrow Ranch in Mendocino Co, ferment using whole clusters and uncrushed grapes, followed by aging in 900-gallon casks to create a wine that is more similar to a Beaujolais than a California Zinfandel. Soft and velvety with flavors of black cherry and strawberry.
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