Claire Hill North Ponderosa Vineyard Zinfandel
Origin: Sierra Nevada Foothills, California, USA
From the winemaker, who paints her own labels: "The grapes saw a long, cool fermentation (2 weeks’ maceration, temperature never above 75°F) to prevent extracting anything harsh and bitter. The grapes were pressed off while the must was still a bit sweet (at 4.3 brix), finished primary fermentation in stainless steel over the following few days, and then was barreled down to used French oak where it overvintaged for 18 months to soften and develop. With the very low pH at this site (3.03pH), no sulfur was added until just before bottling (15ppm). Due to the extremely low pH, this wine (much like some German Spätburgunders or Emilia-Romagnan Barberas) did not finish ML, and was bottled with a small amount of malic acid (<1g/L). To ensure stability, I filtered at bottling.
Excellent with pizza dusted with red pepper flakes, cured meats, and Bolognese, this wine hearkens to some of my favorite Barbera blends from Emilia-Romagna. In all of my wines, I aim for delicate, perfumed aromatics and structure. Here, notes of ripe pomegranate and red currant and ripe pomegranate balance with grapefruit oil and fresh thyme."