First coined by Dry Creek Vineyard in 1987, the term “Old Vine” has special meaning to this family winery. Although there is no legal definition, they define an old vine vineyard as having vines that average more than 50 years in age. For this bottling of the Old Vine Zinfandel, the vines are more than 95 years in age and in some cases, more than 110 years old! Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards remain the most prized and historic of all plantings in the Dry Creek Valley.
A dry and warm winter began the 2015 growing season with budbreak coming in early March. Cool weather came during fruit set, with not a lot of sunshine. A heat spike came in late June. However, the grapes ripened evenly and flavor and development were right where they wanted them to be. Yields were a bit down from previous vintages, but the quality was extremely high. This was one of their earliest recorded harvests with one of the earliest finishes in history!
The wine underwent a 10-15 day maceration and was pumped over twice daily. It then spent 16 months in French, American and Hungarian oak; 27% of the barrels were of new oak.
The complexity of the Old Vine Zinfandel lies in the spicy notes that are unique to these historic properties. This vintage presents alluring aromatics of blackberries, dried cranberries and a hint of mocha and nutmeg. On the palate, brambly layers of ripe boysenberry, raspberry and dark chocolate come forward. The wine is complex, with bright acidity complimented by a long, lingering finish of black pepper. The tannins are velvety and smooth to lend a round, rich mouthfeel.