Zinfandel certainly has a mind of its own and Rhinefarm’s Zin is no exception. Originally planted in 1976, our vines yield a juicy, yet gutsy wine bursting with red and black fruit. Only available through the Bacchus Club and direct from the winery.
Zinfandel has a mind of its own. Each cluster boasts everything from green grapes to raisins and everything in between and this variability makes it one of the most difficult grapes to know when to pick. Some years, Zinfandel acts as delicate as Pinot Noir and some years it’s as hearty as Merlot. So that’s what we do with this grape… we capture the best essence we can of the particular growing season. It’s a thin-skinned variety like Pinot Noir so it’s quite sensitive to Mother Nature, even with the old vines we have the fortune to farm. We allow the grape to express itself and use 50% French and 50% American oak to capture the beauty and spice characteristics natural to this grape variety. It will continue to evolve in the bottle (at its own pace, mind you) for up to seven years.
The 13 acres of Zinfandel on Rhinefarm was planted in 1976 and grows in the upper benchland portion of the vineyard at an average elevation of 200 feet. It thrives in the rocky, well-drained conditions presented by the alluvial fan comprising the lower Mayacamas Mountain Range. Topsoils are 18 to 34 inches deep, consisting of Rhyolitic volcanic ash and alluvial wash. Beneath the topsoil is a mostly impervious layer of consolidated volcanic ash with occasional fractures for the roots to penetrate to deeper depths, producing wines with concentrated fruit flavors and firm structural qualities. Pervasive maritime breezes and long daylight exposure allow fruit to develop intense concentration while retaining vibrant structure. The vineyard typically yields 2.5 tons/acre.
To make the wine, we hand-harvest and ferment with Prise de Mousse yeast strain. It enjoys 25 days of extended maceration to develop deeper, richer flavor. Using gentle pump-overs tailored by individual lot, we also employ louvers and screens to eliminate exposure to skins and seeds which might introduce off flavors. The wine ages an average of 15 months in 50% French and 50% American oak barrels, 35% new, before bottling and release.
At Gundlach Bundschu, we make great wine but also like to have a little fun. Here are some alternative ways to enjoy our Zinfandel:
- While watching your fave football team win
- Impress your date with your fabulous taste
- Food pairings:
- Burgers on the grill topped with caramelized onions
- Barbecued meats, especially ribs
- Grilled chicken and pork
- Cheese pairings: Bold cheeses like blue, aged Jack, Pecorino, Cheddar
- Varietal Composition:
- 100% Zinfandel
- TA 0.62g/100ml
- Barrel Aging:
- 15 months
50% French oak, 50% American
- 15 months