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Rockpile Club

Spring 2021

2019 Rockpile Zinfandel Matron

Production: 324 cases 
Appellation: Rockpile
Composition: 94% Zinfandel 6% Petite Sirah
Vineyard: Rockpile Ridge VineyardAlcohol: 14.57% by volume
Aging: 15 months in oak barrels
100% French

Winemakers’ Perspective
This sumptuous new 2019 Rockpile Zinfandel honors the pioneering and persevering women throughout the generations of our family.

On the nose, aromas of bramble, ripe pomegranate and crushed rock co-mingle with undertones of savory herb. The texture is effortless, with mountain-grown power and restraint. This wine resolves perfectly, with a multi-layered and persistent finish of ripe red fruits, baking spices and toasted vanilla pod.

All of our 2019 Rockpile Zinfandels have extraordinary complexity as well as Rockpile’s inherent staying power, and this Matron Zin is no exception.

While 12 months of patient aging will reveal additional secondary and tertiary attributes, the juicy fruit can be appreciated now, and throughout the next 5-7 years.  

2019 Rockpile Zinfandel, Rockpile Ridge Vineyard

Production: 684 Cases
Appellation: Rockpile
Composition: 94% Zinfandel 6% Petite Sirah
Vineyard: Rockpile Ridge Vineyard
Alcohol: 14.57 % by volume
Aging: 15 months in oak barrels 100% French

Winemakers’ Perspective
Our family’s Rockpile Ridge Vineyard is located at nearly 1,200-feet in elevation. This vineyard has sweeping sun exposures from southeast to northwest and consists of nine distinctly different blocks of Zinfandel. Each are harvested at different times and fermented separately to ensure the integrity and uniqueness of the individual blocks. Working with the varied sun exposures, soil compositions, slopes and drainages is a winemaking dream come true and what makes our Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel so spectacular.

Our 2019 Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel carries all of the signature aromas expected from Zinfandel grown in Rockpile: candied cherry and plum; dark cocoa; ground roasted coffee; savory dried herbs and sweet earth. This incredible iteration of Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel is singularly defined by its detailed texture. It’s vibrant, yet concentrated; elegant, yet bold; velvety, yet powerful. Then it ultimately resolves into a seamless and persistent finish. This energetic Zin will benefit from at least 1-2 years of bottle age. Enjoy over the next 10-12 years. 

2019 Charlie Clay Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Production: 378 cases
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyards: 64% Calegari 24% Dutton Ranch 12% Palmer Estate
Alcohol: 114.15% by volume

Winemakers’ Perspective The beginning of the 2019 growing season brought numerous days of heavy rainfall. By mid-March, the vineyard weather stations had clocked 20% more rain than our annual average! As a result, the early vegetative growth of the vines was stalled, due to the saturated soil. But momentum quickly grew with warmer temperatures in late April, and the much dreaded bouts of rain during bloom time proved not to result in millerandage (unfertilized flowers growing into only tiny seedless berries).

Fortunately, the ripening period was nearly perfect during late August to late October and pick decisions were made with the utmost patience as the weather allowed for extended hang-time.

Our 2019 Charlie Clay Pinot Noir combines fruit from three distinctive Russian River vineyards. We were able to tease out the subtleties of each by fermenting in three unique vessels. This allowed us to incorporate whole clusters and separate clones, as well as native yeast fermentations and a wide range of cap-management styles.

We blended this unfiltered Pinot Noir barrel by barrel and the intricacies of our early work are exemplified in the final delicious, nuanced and classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

With ample aeration, crushed fresh black cherry, pomegranate seed, dried violet petal, fresh herb and sweet forest floor make for an alluring nose. The freshness on the entry reveals flavors of red fruits and oolong tea leaf, swiftly counterbalanced by an intriguing umami element that lingers in the finish. This wine is just starting to show its layers of complexity and energy and will drink best over the next 8-10 years.

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