skull & bones 2009
Just as Napa is held to be the landmark appellation for California Cabernets, there is no doubt that Paso Robles is increasingly considered to be the State’s pre-eminent region for Zinfandel. Hidden Valley Vineyard is our proprietary vineyard, located in the Templeton Gap, in the heart of Paso’s coveted Westside. The terroir imparts a delicious and distinctive minerality. The calcareous shale and sandstone soils and the hot, dry climate stress the vines and result in small berries and low yields. We use minimal irrigation and employ rigorous canopy management to produce small quantities of intense ripe fruit. We experience cooler evenings and somewhat milder summer temperatures than those further inland, extending our growing season deep into the fall. While some growers are bringing in their fruit shortly after Labor Day, our Zinfandel is rarely harvested before Halloween.
Many central coast growers produce ultra ripe, high sugar fruit allowing their winemakers to take the “fruit bomb” approach to their Zins. We used a somewhat more nuanced approach to Skull & Bones, in order to showcase the multi-dimensional characteristics of our Westside fruit. The result is a truly exceptional wine that exhibits both richness and balance. The nose of spicy blackberry, plum, mineral and quince follows through to the palate, punctuated with a burst of juicy acidity, red berry and floral tones. Complex all the way through, with a vain of bright acid framing the soft tannins and velvety mouthfeel. Finishes long and intriguing. This is a sensuous wine, no two ways about it. Drink now thru 2016.
Pick date: November 4th, 2009