(From 2008 Vintage) The nose was fruit evident, and somewhat lush, basically a “fooler’ because it smelled much more pricy than it is. Suggestively, the aromas of that plum character, black pepper and blackberry, and even a hint of jam, made me wonder what was to come. The mouth was leaning to a smooth finish, but the initial taste was snappy and even a bit tangy. Airing brought it into line, and I find this wine to be a great barbecue sauce candidate, and a remarkable value.
(From 2009 Vintage) At Terra d’Oro, all our zinfandel vineyards are carefully handpicked and brought to the winery for processing. After being put into a hopper, which breaks open some of the berries, about fifteen gallons of juice per ton of grapes is removed. This process called saignée (from French, meaning "to bleed”) increases the solid to juice ratio during fermentation. The grapes are then destemmed and crushed and the must (a mixture of crushed and whole berries, grape juice, skins, and seeds) is sent to tanks where it is left to cold soak for up to three days. This allows a primary extraction where water acts as a solvent and breaks down the cell walls of the grape solids extracting flavors, color, and aromas. This is less powerful than the alcohol extraction that occurs after inoculating the tanks with yeast but the resulting flavors from each extraction are unique and add complexity to the finished wine. The fermentors are drained and returned thrice, resulting in more extraction than merely pumping over the tanks. After gentle tank pressing the wine was aged in a combination of Hungarian, French and American oak for thirteen months.
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