2016 axr zinfandel
2016 was a near-perfect growing season thanks to ideal weather conditions, giving Napa Valley another winner in a string of historic vintages. Spring bud break came early due to dry and relatively warm soils from a drought winter. There was a slight carry-over effect of that advanced timing in producing a low flower count and lighter fruit set (fewer potential grapes and smaller clusters at maturity). However, the thinner grape population was actually beneficial as it focused the vine’s potential flavor energy on fewer bunches. Minimal heat spells and consistently cool nights across the summer months allowed the clusters to ripen slowly and evenly while protecting natural acidity. We began harvesting our reds on Sept. 8. Two heat spikes in 10 days then forced us to accelerate picking across the Valley, and we finished our final passes in mid-October, just as the first significant fall rainstorm arrived. 2016, in general, produced a very clean, concentrated crop load, the kind of grapes a winemaker prays will be delivered to the crush pad. These wines will almost certainly be able to rival the best vintages of the last decade.
On the rim: delicate red cherry with touches of geranium and mashed raspberries
On the nose: beautiful balance between cedar, chocolate, strawberries, fern, gingerbread, vanilla and tarte Tatin
On the palate: Fresh vibrant entrance evolving on red cherries, plums, sour cherry, star fruit and pomelo, lingering on grenadine and dark chocolate