Take, for example, the 2014 Zinfandel Rattlesnake, a blend of 96% Zinfandel and 4% Petite Sirah with 85% from the Monte Rosso Vineyard and the balance from other Gallo vineyards. It is aged in all French oak, of which 23% is new. A whopper at 16% natural alcohol, the wine has classic Zinfandel characteristics of Provençal spices, roasted herbs, pepper and oodles of briary black raspberry and black cherry fruit. It cuts a big swath across the palate with loads of glycerin and an unctuous, thick, juicy quality that is provocative. The wine is rich, ripe and ideal for drinking over the next 7-8 years. 5,000+ cases were produced.
Fully concentrated and ready for action, the extracted 2014 Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel shows abundant aromas of berry fruit, a full-bodied palate, and a long finish. Pair this with smoked lamb chops. (Tasted: September 12, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
The story of Mount Peak Winery begins more than a century ago at the celebrated Monte Rosso Vineyard and culminates with the recent revival of the brand by Gallo. A vestige of one of California's great "ghost" wineries, the wines are a tribute to the extraordinary facility that once stood there. Originally built in 1886, Mount Peak was a marvel of innovation with its three-story, gravity-flow system built from rock directly sourced from the dry-farmed Monte Rosso vineyard. While it ultimately emerged as one of California's top producers, it was closed during Prohibition and left abandoned to the elements, laying silent for decades. Over 130 years later, Gallo has revived the site and the vineyard, perched at nearly 1,300 feet along the spine of the Mayacamas Mountains, straddling the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. The steep hillsides are set against a dramatic backdrop and the new Mount Peak label will focus on Cabernet, Zinfandel, and a red blend from the original Monte Rosso fruit. Comprised of 96% Zin and 4% Petite Syrah, 86% of the fruit comes from the Rattlesnake block of Monte Rosso, while the remainder is from the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys.