Peirano Estate Vineyards
Winemakers Barrel Select – “Heritage Collection”
2014 Old Vine Zinfandel, Estate Grown, Lodi
2014 was a year that started off with a very dry spring, producing early water deficit stress on the vines and was followed by one of the most mild and cool summer months in Lodi in decades. In fact, June, July and August were cooler than September, October and November. Because of this, we had exceptionally long hang time for the fruit, giving it the chance to develop layers of flavors. Combine that with the low yield of our 121-year-old Zinfandel vines, and you can see why we were so excited by the intensity of the fruit. Plus, with 75 acres of what is the largest single block of head trained, natural rooted Zinfandel in the country, we had the opportunity to truly hand select the “cream” of the crop, making several passes through the block during the optimal ripeness window in late October of 2014.
After hand-picking into half ton bins for the most delicate transporting of the fruit, the grapes were lightly crushed into the tank for fermentation. Fermented on the skins to dryness, it was then pressed and placed in our top 10% selection of “food friendly” French and American oak barrels, including Tonnellerie Quintessence, Demptos, Tonnellerie O, Barrel 21, Cooperages 1921, Kelvin Cooperage, and Tonnellerie Radoux of which 15% was new wood. Aging in this way, it was important to maintain and uplift all of the fruit components while using the winemaker’s top 10% selection of oak to support each flavor to its fullest. After bottling, it was allowed further aging time to micro-mingle its flavors so each bottle is a full expression of the monarch of Lodi wines – The Heritage Collection Old Vine Zinfandel.
Where does one start to pair this remarkably versatile wine with that meal you are about to have prepared just for you? With the aroma’s, of course!! That initial whiff of this seductive wine produces black raspberry and red ripe cherries, which pairs so nicely with that chef’s special- pork tenderloin. Then you take another deep sniff that suggests aromas of boysenberry and cola. Yes, this wine concurs ever so with the chef’s “special” fresh herbs and spices on your meal in front of you. Wow- you would think we are done with that four course meal, but, we have only started. Time to move past the nose and into the “meat” of the palate. All of this whiffing and sniffing has your palate salivating- what’s for dinner? Your first bite of your entrée and now that first sip, you swirl this rich dark wine around in your mouth and the initial sensation is that of luscious juicy dark fruit, marrying oh so well with that first bite!! The second sip explodes with sweet berries, black cherries, and boysenberries. That blends ever so in unison with that second bite. Then your palate picks up the moderate tannins and juicy acidity that makes that entrée “MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!!” Now you ask- what was that entrée? Well, that rich, juicy dark fruit, velvety sweet berries, black cherries, and boysenberries along with that nice acidity- will pair with ALL foods. From that gourmet burger on the grill, to a nut crusted seared rare Ahi, a delicate rich filet mignon or a beefy prime rib!! Let your imagination go wild and experiment!! You will not go wrong with this wine and any creative meal or sauces your chef can create. Saluda