2017 Love Zinfandel
A year that started out with rain. After a number of years of drought, we were blessed with plenty of early rain in 2017 and that created a great cover crop and helped these vines get off to a quick start. Lots of sunshine and heat through the middle of the year helped to nurture the fruit and allow it to rapidly accumulate sugars. The roots with the extra rain started to pull up plenty of mineral components that create a much softer and earthy fruit profile. Delicate aromas of perfume and rose petals are followed by black currant and cedar. The palate consists of raspberry, strawberry, with earth tones of tea leaf that create a beautifully complex wine.
Clusters were hand harvested at night to ensure gentle processing of cool fruit. At the winery, the grapes were hand sorted, destemmed, crushed to release the juice and start the extraction process from the skins. The grapes were then fermented in small open top bins with pump overs conducted twice per day where we use a pump to take the juice from below the skins and pump it back up and over all the skins to break down and extract color from the skins. A blend of natural and cultured yeasts were used for fermentation. At dryness, the grapes were pressed to tank and racked clean into a combination of 40% new French oak barrels for 11 months of aging. The final blend consists of the wine makers selection of the best barrels that represent this single vineyard wine.
Record-breaking winter rainfall kicked off the season, filling the water table to capacity and replenishing soils. A mild spring brought bud break at the normal time, and vintners reported small berries with excellent color. A hot summer culminated in a Labor Day weekend heat wave that caused some vintners to move up their harvest dates by a week or so. The grapes endured the heat and once cooler weather arrived, fruit was able to mature at a gradual pace. Mid-September rain forced growers open up canopies, and in some instances, use blowers to dry out certain varieties prior to harvesting. Early estimates predicted an average yield, but some vintners reported weight loss in the grapes after the heat wave. Because most of the fruit was picked prior to the October fires, vintners have a positive outlook on the 2017 wines, comparing the vintage to 2003, 2013 and 2014. The fruit has excellent color, pronounced flavors and high quality across varieties.
Love Vineyard is nestled just off of Westside Rd in northern Russian River. Just 1.5 acres of planted Zinfandel on an eastern facing hill side. The vineyard was planted in the early 90’s and managed by Chenoweth Vineyard management. Steep slopes and sandy loam soil help provide for good drainage yet nutrient efficient soil. Dry farmed increases stress to the vines to intensity and concentrate the characters of this fruit forward Russian River Zinfandel vineyard.
Bailarín Cellars was created in 2014 by a collective of family and friends, each following their respective passions. Together we focus on producing small lots of handcrafted wines from unique vineyard sources. We are proud to share the fruits of our labor and love with you.