2020 Rous Ancient Vine Zinfandel
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.