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Paso Robles experienced a dry and warm vintage in 2014. Early budbreak prompted an early growing season and harvest. Whale Rock Vineyard’s location in the Templeton Gap exposes it to a cooling marine influence at night, resulting in an extended ripening period. Grapes were harvested just as the first much needed rainfall of the season arrived. Overall yields were good and quality was excellent.
Whale Rock Vineyard was planted in 2001 by Castoro Cellars and is CCOF certified organically grown. The name is inspired by the thousands of petrified whale bones from ancient times scattered throughout the property. The vineyard is located on the west side of Paso Robles in the “Templeton Gap.” 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 small fermentation bins. Following a two-day cold soak, the bins were inoculated with D254 yeast to initiate the primary fermentation. To achieve maximum flavor and color extraction, the bins were punched down 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 15 months.
This wine features vibrant aromas of rich plum, dark fruit and blueberry jam with hints of baked spiced apple and a well integrated smokiness from the American oak. A firm tannin structure and well balanced acidity ensure excellent ageability. The wine culminates in a richly layered, lingering finish.
110 cases produced Alcohol 15.1%