Zinfandel shares many traits with Pinot Noir: its profile varies from bright strawberry fruit to deep, cloying, sugar-like; and the color of the wine can be light and almost brick-like but is not an indication of a lighter wine. Both varieties share a close association with the site where they are grown, and will do well only in very specific places, notably dry with good drainage.
In 2016, the growing season started fast and furious with an early bud break and we expected a repeat of 2015, the warmest vintage on record for WA State. Thankfully, temperatures dropped in early June and through the rest of the summer. THe result was a choice vintage, with ample hanging time for our fruit.
Forgeron has sourced Zinfandel grapes from Alder Ridge Vineyard, overlooking the Columbia River in the Horse Heaven Hills, since 2001. Though the site is warm, its proximity to the river brings cool winds and ambient air circulation, cutting down on the likelihood of the grapes developing rot. Alder Ridge slopes face south and are composed of poor, sandy soil which allows excellent drainage making for low-yield, high-quality fruit.
Zinfandel is a difficult wine to make; from assessing the best time to harvest, to completing fermentation and barrel aging. We’re not known to shy away from a good challenge though, and we embrace making Zinfandel here at Forgeron. We’re very careful and respectful of the fruit and typically do a short fermentation to preserve the spice and berry flavors, followed by 14-19 months aging in oak.
Lush, velvety, silky and savory with a long finish.
NOSE: tabacco, dark roasted coffee, licorice, candied fruit and bacon
MOUTH: lush and savory spiciness of clove, rich caramel, ripe fig and mocha
FOOD & WINE PAIRING: smoked or grilled baby back ribs or chicken