Robert Biale Zinfandel 2019, Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa Valley, California

“We are most proud of our project at Stagecoach Vineyards and we have boldly called it “the most serious planting of Zinfandel in Napa Valley’s modern era.” Stagecoach Vineyards® in its entirety is no ordinary vineyard location – it is more like its own district in and around Atlas Peak, Pritchard Hill, and Oakville. It encompasses hundreds of acres of prime mountain vineyards that supply dozens of winemakers with some of their most prized grapes. “At harvest, the fruit is hand-picked and sorted to ensure that only the best fruit makes it into the fermenter. The grapes are crushed, and gravity fed into open-top tanks. The must is cold soaked for 2 – 4 days at 50 degrees F and then inoculated with commercial yeast strains. For color and tannin extraction, we perform 2 – 3 punch downs per day. Fermentation is typically completed after 14 to 16 days at a maximum of 86 degrees F. At dryness, we lightly press and store the wine into 100% Burgundy oak barrels (25% new) where malolactic fermentation is completed. The wine is then aged for up to 16 months.” This bold red wine is complex and sophisticated with striking ripe aromatics. When poured into a glass, it explodes with notes of wild blackberries, jasmine, sage, wild iris, and mixed berry compote. Firm and succulent on the mid-palate, the tannin of this wine makes for a long and juicy finish.