I've been hinting at this project for a while. 100% Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel from the 2014 vintage.
Before I was a Cabernet drinker, I was a Zinfandel zealot. I couldn't get enough of the stuff. Verticals of Zin took up my cellar. But around 1995, things began to change. I was buying less and less Zin, sometimes no Zin at all. Zinfandel was morphing into an alcoholic fruit bomb of a wine. Riper and riper with each passing year to the point I couldn't drink the stuff anymore.
So, I took matters into my own hands and made Zinfandel in 2014.
I decided on first pass French and American oak for the Zin; a difference from what many do in Sonoma County, favoring more neutral Hungarian and American oak. Hungarian oak is known for spice characteristics. Likewise, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel has pronounced spice as a matter of terroir. I saw no reason to double up on the spice character of my first release of Zinfandel.
Secondly, I extended the Zinfandel aging process from a more typical 9-12 month program in oak to just over 12 months. That additional time in oak smooths out the corners, rounds the edges, and builds complexity.
I'm craving elegance in my Zinfandel. A Zinfandel that shows power, but not alcohol; rich fruit but not cooked fruit, spice but not heat.
I want to drink Zinfandel again...my Zinfandel!