Black plum and pomegranate interlace with white pepper and cedar from the French oak. The wine’s entry introduces a complex array of flavors, adding boysenberry and vanilla to the mix. An expansive mid-palate leads to a lingering finish. The balance of this quintessential Zinfandel allows great versatility with food, and its deceptive heartiness will reward experiments with exotic pairings. 288 Cases produced. 55 year old vines. Wine aged 21 months in 34% new and 66% 2year old barrels.
Winemaker William Knuttel’s 25 years experience along with his creativity and intuition guide him as he transforms fruit from Ottimino Vineyards into unparalleled wine.
Ottimino has always produced Zinfandel from cooler regions, thereby allowing more time on the vine to concentrate flavors and keep alcohols at respectable levels. Most of our single vineyard Zinfandels have been from the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley, true Sonoma Coast. However, we love Zinfandel from other regions where cooler weather prevails, and the 55-year-old vines at Biglieri Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley are a perennial favorite.
Octogenarian Pio Biglieri trusts his neighbor Harold Hoskins to tend the vines with a meticulous touch and hands-off approach. As the harvest date nears he thins the crop cluster by cluster, retaining only the most evenly colored and ripened fruit. On picking day, additional clusters are eliminated through hand sorting. Given Zinfandel’s propensity for uneven ripening, it is always incredible when Biglieri’s Zinfandel hits the crush pad looking better than everything else.
We crushed hand-harvested fruit and cold-extracted for three days with vigorous irrigations, coaxing color and tannin early in the fermentation. The pumpover rate was decreased after peak fermentation, and the new wine pressed at dryness to avoid excess tannin. The wine was aged entirely in French oak, 35% new, for twenty-one months as befits our claret style of Zinfandel. No fining was required.