WSI96+ Layered, nuanced, and as complex and mysterious as Dostoevsky with more herbs and spices than the Colonel, this is a big mountain Zin that drinks more like a Cab. Pair with leg of lamb, pepperoni pizza, or anything you can think of to blacken, grill, or smoke.
The Black Sears vineyards lie nestled among hundreds of acres of wild oak forests at the top of Howell Mountain. Approximately twenty-four acres of the four-hundred-twenty acre ranch have been planted as vineyard over an east-facing hillside where an apple orchard once stood.
Looking down from high above the valley fog, the vineyard shares its home and its view with black bears, mountain lions, hawks and rattlesnakes. At just over 2400 feet, it is the highest vineyard on Howell Mountain and is among the highest vineyards in all of Napa Valley. The unique climate of Howell Mountain produces wines with a firm structure, intense fruit flavors, earthy spice, and round acidity. The ashy, iron-laden soils are perfectly suited for growing full-bodied, peppery Zinfandel and earthy, rich Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. These mountaintop conditions and the varied hillside microclimates combine to produce wines of complex structure, incredible intensity, and the intrepid flavors of a remote and distinctive terrain.
All Estate gown fruit, biodynamic farming, small lots.
Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown
The Black Sears winemaking philosophy is non-interventionist and simple, eschewing the latest fads and technology. And that dovetails perfectly with the organic and biodynamic vineyard practices employed in the Black Sears vineyards. The grapes are picked by hand at the peak of ripeness and immediately crushed and destemmed. The wines are cold-soaked and fermented in stainless steel tanks; and once dry, they are pressed off the skins and barreled in 100% french oak. There they will age and evolve underground in the Black Sears cave for between 18 and 22 months before they are bottled.
The Black Sears Estate Zinfandel is the best Zinfandel in the universe. Head-trained, dry-farmed, 43-year old vines on ol’ St George rootstock, with the bud wood coming from the historic Hayne Vineyard.