Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel 2018
Mauritson Wines
Region: Sonoma

93-Wine Enthusiast; 92-Robert Parker; 90-Jeb Dunnuck
Tasting Notes

Deep, dark ruby colour with expressive aromatics of ripe, brambly fruit, mocha and toasty oak. The palate is full, heady and loaded with rich fruit—black plum and blueberry–alongside Mauritson’s trademark minerality. It Is all framed beautifully by firm, ripe tannins and a core of acidity often lacking in Zinfandels.

Zinfandel is a dark-skinned red wine grape variety widely cultivated in California. It arrived in the Americas from Europe in the early years of the 19th Century and was an immediate success in both Napa and Sonoma counties, which remain its strongholds today. After 30 years of discussion and disagreement (including legal intervention by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), DNA research carried out by Carole Meredith of the University of California at Davis from the early 1990s to 2002 (known as the Zinquest) confirmed that Zinfandel is identical to Italy’s Primitivo.

Rockpile is an AVA at the northern end of Sonoma County. Sitting at the northwestern edge of Dry Creek Valley, it covers a high ridge that sits above Lake Sonoma, providing a sunny, mountainous terroir for the area’s grapes. The terroir in Rockpile is heavily influenced by Lake Sonoma, which was created as a water reservoir in the early 1980s. The presence of the lake helps to limit the influence of fog, creating an inversion layer that draws the cooler air toward the lake’s surface, allowing warmer air to rise. The Rockpile vineyards, which sit above the 240 masl contour line, are free of the fog created by the neighbouring Pacific Ocean and, instead, experience long, sunny days. Like its closest neighbor, Dry Creek Valley, Rockpile is best known for its Zinfandel, making intensely-coloured, concentrated red wines.

Sourced exclusively from the Rockpile Ridge Vineyard that is located at nearly 360 metres in elevation in the Rockpile AVA. This vineyard has sweeping sun exposures from southeast to northwest and consists of nine distinctly different blocks of Zinfandel.

Nine distinct blocks are harvested and fermented separately to insure the integrity and uniqueness of the individual blocks. Aged 15 months in 100% French oak barrels, a combination of new and second fill. The 2018 vintage adds a dash (5%) of Petite Sirah.

Wine Type: Red

Variety: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah

Classification: AVA

Orientation: N/A

Appellation: Sonoma County

Gradient: 360 masl

Soil: Loam, clay loam, gravel

Farming Practices: Sustainable

Residual Sugar: N/A

Alcohol: 14.57

Malolactic: Yes

Botte Size: 750 ml

Acidity: N/A

Other Practices: Sustainable