WARNING: Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol.
10 Months French Oak
The Rous Vineyard, grafted entirely onto St. George rootstock, was
planted in 1909 making this vintage a spectacular 110-year-old vines! This 10 acre,
single-source vineyard is in the sub-appellation of Mokelumne River. These
magnificent, twisted, gnarly, head-trained Zinfandel vines yield 2.5 tons per acre of
fruit with incredible concentration of flavors. But it wasn’t always this way. When
Craig Rous purchased the vineyard in 1994, he still had two years of it being under
contract as White Zinfandel. Once this contract expired, he started the process of
transforming it back into a Red Zinfandel vineyard by specialized pruning. Already
under way, he changed it from furrow to drip irrigation and added solar panels to fuel
the well. Craig’s method of “bug control” is the numerous lizards and spiders
throughout the vineyard. The soil is a mixture of very sandy and sandy loam.
Grapes grown on these 110-year-old vines produce “Ancient
Vine” Zinfandel that is so well-made its seamless characteristics are unforgettable. Multidimensional in aromas and flavors, this generously rich Zinfandel offers plush aromas and
flavors of ripe blackberries, brown spices, clove, caramel and slight vanilla, finishing with
well-rounded tannins and a lingering dark, fruit finish.
Fully mature grapes were harvested in early September
2019 at 25.5 Brix. Following hand harvesting, these precious grape clusters were
fermented in our small rotary fermenter. After undergoing extended fermentation and
maceration, the newly pressed wine was transferred into small French oak barrels and
placed in our underground caverns. Hand-blasted by local miners, many whose
families came for gold in the 1800’s, these caverns remain a natural 60 degrees
Fahrenheit year-round temperature to ensure a fuller, richer and finer wine of true
varietal character. Careful handling of these unique grapes from start to finish yields a
wine that is true to world-acclaimed Lodi Zinfandels
2019 was a fairly mild and normal summer in Lodi without
harvest precipitation. There were no extended heat spells and the temperature remained
consistent throughout. Warm days combined with the cool Pacific Ocean breezes coming
through daily in Lodi’s unique microclimate creating excellent growing conditions. This
allowed for full flavors, intense color and balanced acidity.