A rich ruby-red color introduces this richly round and plush Zinfandel, with aromas and flavors of dark fruits, showing black cherry, plum, blueberry and raspberry alongside notes of cinnamon, white pepper and evident oak spice. Warming caramel frames the nose. Silky tannins and a medium body lead to a dry, lingering finish.
Beringer’s Clear Mountain Vineyard lies on the north side of Cobb Mountain in Lake County’s renowned Red Hills AVA, an hour’s drive northeast of upper Napa Valley. Red volcanic soils laced with rocks, including huge chunks of obsidian, set the stage for warm growing days perfect for richly flavored Zinfandel. Cooler nights allow the grapes to rest, extending ripening until Zinfandel with intensity, complexity and layers of flavor emerge.
The memorable 2014 vintage touch-points: a three-year drought continued, winter rainfall was half the normal average. Spring rains in February and March arrived at the right moment to get the growing season off to a stable beginning. Lake County picking began one week to 10 days early, and proceeded at a rapid pace. Summed up, 2014 was demanding, but fruitful, a beautiful vintage with exceptional fruit resulting in memorable wines.
Vineyard lots remained separate from field to winery, allowing careful selection of distinctive wines reflecting the Red Hills terroir. To emphasize freshness, the wine was fermented in stainless and allowed to undergo 100% malolactic fermentation prior to finishing in mixed American and French oak for a year, with 25% new French Oak adding toasty oak spice & vanilla. After gaining complexity in oak for 14 months, Petite Sirah was married to the Zinfandel, enhancing mouthfeel and adding greater depth of flavor. It was bottled on April 21, 2016.