2014 Foley Johnson Handmade Zinfandel, Napa Valley
In 2014, our Zinfandel takes on a deep roasted walnut or roasted sweet corn character along with more typical chocolate covered cherry and black spice aromas. Whether it’s from the vintage or from never having been racked (moved with air) during aging, we don’t know. Nor do we care, because it’s delicious! It’s soft. It’s thick though it’s not heavy. It tastes sweet though it isn’t. And the flavor and texture taper off slowly hand in hand into the sunset. There is a bit of alcohol in this quaffable beauty, so we recommend serving it at about 65-68 degrees for maximum pleasure.
95% Zinfandel, 2.5% Syrah, 2.5% Malbec
14 months in 20% new Hungarian Oak François Frères 500L puncheons
Kuleto Estate employs a non-traditional approach to its Zinfandel winemaking. Rather than running fermentation temperatures up to 90+ degrees, which would extract the harsh seed tannins of Zin along with the raisin or prune flavors of the ever-present raisins trapped inside of the clusters, a long, cool fermentation is used to extract only from the freshest of berries. Press wine is rarely included – again to avoid picking up anything other than pure, ripe fruit flavors. Once the wine is drained from tank, it is aged in 132 gallon ‘puncheons’ rather than 59 gallon barrels to keep oxidation to a minimum and to lessen the flavor impact of the barrel on the wine.
We in the Napa Valley have suffered an embarrassment of riches in terms of having a string of exceptional vintages in recent years. Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2015, each has provided near ideal conditions for ripening fruit perfectly. None, however, stands out in our memory like the 2014. For sheer volume of aroma and flavor in every variety we grow on the estate, 2014 is extraordinary. Kuleto is one of the most complex and diverse wine producing properties in the world. Located in the volcanic mountains of eastern Napa, the estate features 761 total acres and 82.9 acres of vines perched along ridges and clinging to steep hillsides. The soils, exposures, elevation changes and sub-climates are so complex that the property is delineated into more than 100 micro-blocks. Each of these tiny plots is treated as an individual vineyard with varieties, clones, rootstocks, density, trellising and farming methods tailored specifically to the site. Produced by guest winemaker John Clews, this wine shows the clarity and structure typical of its warm climate origins.
Only 55 cases produced