2010 Niceforo Zinfandel
Blended from our favorite sites the Niceforo is 33% Karen’s Vineyard, 17% Fields Vineyard, 17% Kirkland Vineyard, 17% Old Esty and 17% Zanini. Blending these unique sites results in a wine that is not only harmonious as a whole, but highlights each individual vineyard. The nose is full of dark red fruits yet exhibits notes of evergreen, green peppercorn and a hint of toffee. On the palate the wine is racy; the initial blackberry notes give way to tobacco leaf leaving the palate with an overall impression of brightness. Drink now through 2019.
After a series of dry years from 2006-2009, the 2010 vintage was set up for a successful harvest by a wet winter. A cool spring was followed by a lower than average amount of heat placing the region comparable to the University of California at Davis' region III, similar to Oakville or Livermore. There was no significant rain during harvest, disease pressure was low and vineyard weeds were not a problem.
The crop size was smaller than average at 80% of “normal”. Fruit flavors were especially intense the wine colors dark. By using our standard “Cool Ferment” technique where yeast is added immediately but the fermentation temperature is held to 75 degrees maximum for red wines. We had the advantage of a cool soak without the added problems of unwanted micro flora. We only had about 10-15% new oak for most of the wine. These wines are really fabulous: intense, dark, full of dark fruit flavors. There is still a bit of the holiday spice character that is typical of warmer vintages but it is more subtle.