This gorgeous Zinfandel hails from the incredible Black Sears Vineyard — found (quite literally if you’ve got a decent arm) a stone’s throw from our estate vineyard gate at the top of Howell Mountain. When poured out, the wine’s signature Howell Mountain pedigree is immediately evident, with deep blackberry, white pepper and a refreshing minerality at the forefront.
BLEND: 83% Zinfandel, 12% Petit Sirah, 5% Petite Verdot
HARVEST DATES: September 14- October 7, 2015
AVERAGE SUGAR: 24.8° Brix | ta: 5.3g/L | ph: 3.8 | alcohol: 14.1%
BARREL AGING: 18 months in Chateau-style French oak; 80% new & 20% 2nd year. Unfiltered and unfined.
BOTTLING DATE: May 3, 2017
CASES PRODUCED: 458
After three abundant, mild harvests in a row, the 2015 kicked off with unseasonably warm temperatures, resulting in early budbreak and bloom. Colder temperatures in May (the peak of bloom) caused some uneven fruit set which ultimately resulted in a smaller crop compared to previous years. Harvest was one of the earliest on record on the valley floor, while mountain fruit lingered on the vine into mid-October. The ongoing drought continued to be a concern, though Napa Valley received 75% of
The 2015 Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel is classically structured, with ample weight, offering a nice balance between flavor, alcohol, pH and tannin — melding the power of mountain Zinfandel fruit with a light winemaking touch in the cellar. A powerful variation on a Howell Mountain, old vine theme, the wine is bursting with warm red stones, wild bramble fruits, and a dash of ground white pepper.
Take a two minute drive past the entrance to our Howell Mountain Estate and you'll find Black Sears Vineyard, where Zinfandel is grown at 2400' - one of the highest sites in the Napa Valley. Farmed biodynamically, the ashy, iron-laden soils produce full-bodied, peppery Zinfandel.
Black Sears has “King of the Mountain” bragging rights - topping out at 2400 feet, making it officially the highest vineyard on the mountain. For 25 years, winemakers have clamored for the Zinfandel grown here: both biodynamic and organic, the site is dry farmed and the vines pruned in the old world style with no trellising. Zinfandel thrives in the mountain’s well-drained, rocky volcanic soils and moderate climate.