The wine shows off the Zinfandel fruit with a predominant aroma of strawberries, enhanced with touches of black cherry, some raspberry and light rhubarb. There are slight herbal notes and a light touch of pepper from the vineyard and spice and vanilla coming from the oak. This wine has a restrained richness in the mouth, also a slight tartness that is characteristic of the vineyard chemistry. The wine has flavors of strawberry and rhubarb, accented with a distinctively Mariah Vineyard herbal note. The wine finishes with a touch of light pepper and some sweet oak spice.
2007 experienced a mild winter with below normal rainfall and a dry spring resulting in an early bud break. Sparse berry set in the spring resulted in loose grape bunches with smaller berries, creating a greater skin-to-juice ratio, and enhancing the quality of the fruit. A cool to moderate growing season heated up during the latter part of August and then turned cool in the second week of September stalling the harvest for a short period and allowing for a less hectic pace. The first week in October, the jet stream dropped into Northern California and we began experiencing periodic rain events every several days leading into harvest. The hand-picked fruit was delivered to the winery, de-stemmed and crushed with some whole berries into a stainless-steel fermenter. The fermenters were inoculated with yeast, and nutrient and acid corrections were made. The fermentation was allowed to proceed between 80-85°F for about a week. Juice was pumped over the top, twice daily to “irrigate” the cap and extract the maximum amount of color and flavor. The secondary fermentation was completed in the tank before being sent to the barrels. The wine was barreled in a mixture of 5% new oak, 10% 2-year-old and 85% neutral oak and remained there for 21 months. Prior to bottling, 4.6% Petite Sirah was added to the blend to enhance the flavor and structure of the wine. The wine underwent a light egg white fining and filtration prior to bottling on January 29, 2010.