There are so many things to say about this wine, it's difficult to know where to start. However, it's not impossible. The first place we start with is Rockpile, the incredible vineyard from which this elixir was created. Rockpile isn't just a vineyard. It is an institution, a legend, and a sacred place. These now 80 year old vines produce one of the most exciting and concentrated wines on Earth.
None of this, of course, is lost on winemaker Daniel Fitzgerald. Thanks to the 40 year ownership by the Byck Family who have practiced sustainability from day one, Daniel has the finest grapes to deal with imaginable. Fortunately, his 15 years of making wine in Europe just adds to the equation.
Daniel handles these grapes differently, and we think correctly, by not allowing them to get so ripe that the alcohols are way out of whack. Instead, he picks earlier, but presses the grapes so gently that many are crushed by the weight of the mass, not a press. This allows the lively fruit to emit those lovely berry notes we so love in Zinfandel.
He then ages the wine for 18 months in large oak barrels, which softens the tannins and releases some of the alcohol. We call this perfection in winemaking from which you can only get perfection in wine. From the deep color, to the massive strawberry jam, to the extracted layers on the palate, this beauty pleases at every turn. It would be heavenly with grilled lamb sausages or tornados of beef.