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Adequate rainfall over the winter months led to a normal budbreak in spring. Good moisture in the soil spurred healthy vine growth and ideal yields. Temperatures throughout the summer and fall were in normal ranges, leading to a long growing season and excellent hang time for the fruit to ripen.
Whale Rock Vineyard was planted in 2001 by Castoro Cellars and is CCOF certified organically grown. The name is inspired by the thousands of ancient petrified whale bones scattered throughout the property. The vineyard is located on the west side of Paso Robles in the Templeton Gap, and is studded with hundred-year-old oak trees. The climate is characterized by warm days followed by cool nights and mornings, and temperature shifts of more than 50 degrees are not uncommon. Soils are high in limestone and sedimentary rock. These austere conditions create an ideal environment for Zinfandel. The clone used for this wine is Primitivo.
Zinfandel grapes were hand harvested into half-ton bins and crushed into a small temperature-controlled stainless steel tank. Following a two-day cold soak, the tank was inoculated with D254 yeast to initiate the primary fermentation. The tank was pumped over three times daily until the wine reached 6 degrees Brix. When the fermentation reached dryness, the wine was pressed and transferred to two new American oak barrels, two one-year-old barrels and one neutral American oak barrel where it completed malo-lactic fermentation and aged for 18 months.
Displaying a deep, ruby red color, this Zinfandel features lush aromas of ripe plum, cassis and persimmon with hints of nutmeg, fennel and pink peppercorn. Smoky and complex, the wine’s juicy tannins are framed by well-balanced acidity and layered with toasty notes from the American oak. The wine culminates in a long, juicy finish with a touch of spice.
148 cases produced Alcohol 15.2%