Thorn Hill’s ancient vine zinfandel is history in a wine glass. The vineyard was planted in 1886 with the Saint George root stock. It was grafted with the “nova” clone of Zinfandel in 1906. Today the Nova clone can only be found in the vineyard. Thorn Hill’s head-trained, dry farmed vines are prized for their production of small, concentrated clusters of grapes that produce incredibly rich and intense wines.
In 2015, a warm, dry spring initiated early bud break. Ideal weather conditions produced trouble-free vine flowering and grape set. Consistent summer sunshine created a steady, even ripening producing grapes with wonderful flavor concentration. In late September prior to harvest Lake County experienced a devastating fire and winemaker Amy Thorn and her family were evacuated from the area days before she planned to harvest the zinfandel grapes. She feared the worse, that the 128 year vineyard would be lost to the fire. But her vineyards were saved by easterly winds that shifted the smoke away from the vineyard. As soon as she was able to secure pickers she worked side-by-side from dark to dawn to pick the grapes and deliver them to the winery.
After carefully harvesting the grapes by hand they were gently transported in half ton bins to the winery where they were de-stemmed and sorted by hand before being cold soaked for five days and then fermented to fully extract color, flavor and tannin from the skins. Once fermentation completed, she transferred the new wine to carefully selected sustainably sourced 100% French oak barrels where the Zinfandel aged for 24 months in the barrel before being blended prior to bottling. The wine is 100% ancient vine zinfandel and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Planted in 1886, its root stock is still producing an unparalleled old vine Zinfandel, with dark plum aromas, remarkable depth and jammy flavors. Vibrant, ripe notes of raspberry intoxicate the senses, enticing you to take a sip of this lively red zinfandel. Once on the palate, plush and round flavors of dark berries meld with fresh cracked peppercorn, juniper and dark chocolate. Playful and serious at the same time, the mouth coating tannins relax into a smooth and supple finish: long, lingering and full of enjoyment.
Harvest: End of September 2015
Grape Variety: 100% Zinfandel
Vineyard: Red Hills, Lake County, CA
Blend: 100% Zinfandel
Bottled: Unfined and unfiltered