Neyers Zinfandel Vista Notre 2018, Lodi, California

Neyers Vineyards is a small, family-run winery that sits in the heart of the Napa Valley. “The combination of heirloom plant material, unique soil, and cool weather yields grapes that reach full maturity at lower sugar levels, and results in wines that rarely exceed 14% alcohol. For the past decade or so we relied on a single vineyard in the Borden Ranch AVA for these grapes, but in 2018, we added fruit from two neighboring vineyards, each with similar characteristics. We can no longer call the wine ‘Vista Luna Vineyard,’ so we call the wine ‘Vista Notre,’ thinking of it as our vision of Zinfandel grown in these conditions. All three vineyards are in the same general area of the Sierra foothills so they share a similar terroir and climate. The result is a style built around ripeness with low alcohol, and we’ve grown increasingly comfortable with this combination of bright fruit, low alcohol, and attractive minerality. We’ve learned, as well, that while the wines made from this area can be enjoyed immediately, they age with both style and grace. Here is the inaugural look at the Neyers Vineyards Zinfandel ‘Vista Notre.’ There will no longer be a separate bottling of Zinfandel labeled as ‘Vista Luna.'” This wine has a unique freshness brimming with bright red berry fruit and hints of dried fruit. It is flavorful, yet restrained for a CA zin, with black peppercorn spice and hints of chocolate and nuts. “We ferment our Zinfandel using a long skin-contact maceration – generally 45 days or so – which results in a softer, less tannic wine. We use only native wild yeast, and natural lactic acid bacteria to promote the secondary or malo-lactic fermentation. The fermentation tank is then drained and the grapes pressed, and the new wine goes directly into neutral 60-gallon French oak barrels. Clarification is entirely natural, so after a year of barrel aging, the wine is bottled without fining or filtration. The soils of these vineyards at the base of the foothills tend to be gravelly and rocky as well, so we find traces of mineral among the many fruit components in the flavor.”