Over 100 years old, the Highwire Vineyard takes its name from the vineyard’s trellising systems: half of the parcel is head-trained and half is trained on a high-wire trellis strung between each vine. This trellising method was devised by vineyard owner, Lloyd Chelli, to permit greater sun exposure and promote even ripening. Both sections of the vineyard are harvested separately and evaluatedindividually before selecting the best lots to ensure consistency in style of the incredibly unique Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel.The Chelli family cares deeply for the old vines behind their home. Their dedicated approach to farming is reflected in the character of the wine produced from their vineyard. Cool nights in the Russian River Valley help to keep bright acidity while double sorting removes less ripe berries and raisins, giving a fresh fruit focus.
The 2013 Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel comes from 100+-year-old vines, with half head-pruned and the other half on a trellising system. It spent nine months in 46% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This cuvée of 500 cases is absolutely sensational Zinfandel, just brilliant, with briary, black cherry fruit exploding from the glass. The wine is full-bodied, opulent and lavishly rich, with an extravagant concentration, purity and depth. This is about as good as a Zinfandel can be, so kudos to Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart.
Consistently distinctive cracked white pepper nuances differentiate the Highwire single-vineyard Zinfandel from our other Zinfandel bottlings. Concentrated licorice, blackberry and boysenberry fruit aromas and flavors are another signature of this vineyard each year and complement the dark chocolate and sappy dark fruit nuances that linger in the youthful finish.