2019 Rockpile Zinfandel Members Only
2019 provided a nice drink of water to the vines early in the year, followed by lots and lots of sunshine. Early budbreak and late bloom in the vineyard lead to large canopies that helped protect the fruit in an area known for getting ample amounts of sunshine. High on the hilltops in Rockpile sits JD Ranch. Well above the fog line, this vineyard soaked in all the sunshine throughout the year. In return we found ourselves with concentrated fruit flavors of dried cranberry, plum, black cherry, and delicate oak tones on the nose. The palate brings forward all sorts of rich fruit tones. Plum jam, cherry cola, cranberry, rhubarb pie, and a solid blackberry finish. This wine will age beautifully and develop more floral tones with time.
Rockpile is located directly northwest of Dry Creek Valley and is perched high above Lake Sonoma. The AVA covers 15,400 acres, is home to around 11 vineyards of which have planted wine grapes on approximately 160 acres and is famed for a “signature clone” of Zinfandel, selected from the vineyard of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in nearby Cloverdale. At elevations ranging from 800 to 2,100 feet, Rockpile vineyards receive plentiful sunlight, with less fog due to an inversion layer created by Lake Sonoma.
2019 provided Sonoma County with a nearly ideal growing season. It all started out with a long winter, bringing and abundance of rain that went well into spring. This resulted in a late bloom and slower but longer growing season which led to longer hang times for the grape bunches with more even ripeness throughout the vineyards. We were about 2 weeks behind average expected harvest dates. The pros to this were that we retained more natural acidity in the grapes and were able to capture more of our late summer sunshine to develop flavors. The vintage proved to bring some stellar grapes through the door and produced some quality wines packed with lots of fruit flavors and bright, fresh acidity. The fires of 2019 did not affect any of our wines as we were fully in tank and barrel by the time they arrived.
Clusters were hand harvested early morning 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 a jacketed open top tank. With pump overs conducted twice a 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. Being from a biodynamic vineyard, we allowed the native yeast to ferment this wine. At dryness, the grapes were pressed to tank and racked clean into a combination of 35% new French oak barrels for 18 months aging.
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.