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Claire Hill North Ponderosa Zinfandel 2019

Claire Hill North Ponderosa Zinfandel 2019

North Ponderosa Vineyard is an organically farmed vineyard located in North Yuba County, up near Grass Valley. I was thrilled to work with this site as it has incredible natural acidity and excellent farming. This bottling comes from a block of 23 year old vines of Dupratt clone Zinfandel.

Beyond the vineyard being farmed organically, the mowing and weeding is done by some extremely cute Southdown Baby Doll sheep. Unlike a tractor passing through to mow weeds between and under the vines, these diminutive sheep don’t compact the carefully cared for vineyard soils as they munch on grasses and fertilize the vineyard.

After picking the fruit on September 3rd, 2019 at 23.1 brix, the clusters were carefully sorted in the winery to remove any raisins or unripe berries. Because Zinfandel is such an uneven ripener, it’s not unusual to find raisins and green unripe berries on the same cluster. By removing these, the wine’s raspberry fruit comes through, unmuddled by the stewed prune flavors that one finds in some Zinfandels (from the raisins). The grapes saw a long, cool fermentation (2 weeks’ maceration, temperature never above 75°F) to prevent extracting anything harsh and bitter. The grapes were pressed while still a bit sweet (at 4.3 brix) and finished primary fermentation in stainless steel before going to barrel. The wine aged in neutral French oak barrels for 18 months to soften and develop.

With the very low pH at this site (3.03pH), no sulfur was added until just before bottling (15ppm). Due to this very low pH, secondary fermentation never fully finished, and so this wine was bottled with a small amount of malic acid (<1g/L) and filtered for stability.

Excellent with pizza dusted with red pepper flakes, cured meats, and Bolognese, this wine hearkens to some of my favorite Barbera blends from Emilia-Romagna. In all of my wines, I aim for delicate, perfumed aromatics and structure. Here, notes of ripe pomegranate and red currant and ripe pomegranate balance with grapefruit oil and fresh thyme.

Regular price $32.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $32.00 USD
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