2015 Zinfandel - Wine Club Members
A fourth year of drought and a relatively warm winter in California led to an early start to the growing season, which in turn resulted in one of the earliest harvests on record. Yields were at record lows as well. Clusters and berries were small and very concentrated, translating to exceptional quality.
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, 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 15 months.
This wine features vibrant aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and boysenberry jam with hints of cedar, pink peppercorn and spice, layered with toasty notes from the American oak. The velvety tannin structure and well-balanced acidity ensure excellent ageability. The wine culminates in a long, juicy and richly textured finish.
116 cases produced Alcohol 14.7%