Old Vine Mendocino Zinfandel is a treasure. Grown on the benchlands and slopes of mountainsides — this 60 plus year old vine Zinfandel was named for these wild- looking vines and also for the uninoculated, or “wild,” yeast ferment that was used to create it. It takes a lot of effort to tame this wild fruit, but it is worth all the trouble. Wild Thing is dangerously good! Remember – you are what you drink ….
Aromas of black cherry, ripe plum and raspberry fruit combine with a hint of cigar box, and vanilla-oak baking spice loveliness. Smoothly textured in mouth, and the palate is very creamy and round, with a finish that is long with lush jammy fruit.
We picked a portion of the vineyard at lower sugar than usual due to the threat of imminent rain, leaving the balance of the vines to ripen almost a month longer. Both lots were bled for concentration, and that saignée portion was used in our Rendezvous Rosé. As usual, our Wild Thing Zinfandel went through fermentation uninoculated, relying on a healthy WILD yeast population from the organic vineyard to create a terroir-driven complexity of aroma and flavors. Our wild fermentation started after a four day cold soak and was followed by a 30-day maceration. The must was déléstaged (pronounced ‘del-ess-TAHJd) three-four times prior to the wine reaching 10°Brix. That is the fancy, French term for a rack and return—a process that aerates the wine, helps to maintain a healthy yeast population, and builds mouthfeel volume with gentle extraction from the skins.
91 Points Wine Enthusiast – “This big but nicely balanced, well-rounded wine delivers plenty of fresh raspberry and blackberry flavors on a lightly tannic texture, brightened by a snap of acidity. It’s charming to taste and will be versatile with food.”
91 Points Wine Spectator – “A juicy bomb of fruit, this red is also well-structured, with lively raspberry, toasty spice and roasted sage flavors that linger on a snappy finish. Drink now through 2028.”