Fetzer Bonterra Zinfandel 2016
The vast majority of this Zinfandel reflects Mendocino County and its historic old-vine Zinfandel sites. The bountiful 2016 vintage was characterized by moderate spring and summer temperatures, with a few heat spikes. Cooler conditions set the stage for a lengthy growing season that delivered layers of concentrated flavor in our Zinfandel fruit.
The Zinfandel and Petite Sirah fruit was harvested in mid-September through late-October, with a portion picked by hand, then destemmed and crushed before a warm fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Varieties and vineyard lots were fermented separately to allow their signature characteristics to emerge before blending. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation to soften the mouthfeel and was aged for 12 months in a mix of new and neutral French oak barrels with a medium to medium-plus toast level.
Blending Petite Sirah into this Zinfandel gave it greater perfume, color and complexity in the glass. A glint of purple against a deep red hue hints at the luscious aromas of violets, raspberry and strawberry on the nose. A rich palate of briery fruit, brown spice and vanilla is framed by a subtle thread of pepper and oak. The generous mid-palate showcases soft tannins and balanced acidity.