The Mesa del Sol Vineyard is located in the Arroyo Seco appellation west of Greenfield. Here, moderately warm and breezy days are followed by cool evenings and foggy mornings; the mountainside vineyard’s gravelly, porous soils along with the Region I type climate make for ideal conditions for an elegant expression of Zinfandel.
Benefitting from warm temperatures and a long growing season, the Mesa del Sol Vineyard produced a moderate crop of very high quality fruit in 2014. The dry winter was followed by moderate temperatures and a final burst of heat in October that helped finish ripening. The additional hang time yielded small, intensely flavored berries.
Hand harvested fruit was immediately de-stemmed into small open top fermenters to maximize skin contact for flavor and color extraction. After the completion of primary fermentation, the young wine was barreled into a combination of French and American oaks for complexity and intensity of fruit concentration. The wine was aged for 18 months before bottling.
The 2014 Manzoni Zinfandel shows classic aromas of pure blackberry and blueberry essence supported by elegant vanilla and subtle smokiness. The color is deep, rich and dark with jewel toned hues brought on by the crisp acidity and ripe grape skins. This wine is ripe and rich, but in no way pruny or raisiny like so many other renderings. The aromatics carry through to the palette with flavors of red plums, ripe black berries and hints of hard spices that are wrapped by a core of soft, elegant tannins and bright, clean acidity. This cool climate offering of Zinfandel is a classic rendition of a varietally correct wine that allows the purity of the fruit to shine through. While many versions of Zinfandel tend towards over-ripe characters, this wine is an elegant and powerful bottling that is not only a great flavor experience, but also a wonderful translation of terroir into the bottle. This wine drinking very well at release but a further one to three years will bring out further subtly in the fruit and increase the aged aromatics.