Steele Zinfandel DuPratt Vineyard 2008
Buy a Bottle (750ml)
Even in a good year, picking the DuPratt Vineyard is never easy. A mountain vineyard with hilly terrain gives some vines more sun. By its nature Zinfandel ripens unevenly and each cluster has raisins, ripe berries and under-ripe berries. Choosing when to harvest takes skill, intuition and sometimes, good luck. Our answer to this is a test pick in which we harvest two rows, which run the length of the vineyard. If we get what we feel are adequate sugars after a day of soaking on the skins, we then harvest the remainder of the vineyard. Even so we keep the upper (riper) part of this vineyard separate from the lower portion.
This tiny 5.5 acre plot of 80 year old vines has always produced wines of spectacular quality. The long season enjoyed by grapes grown in the Mendocino Ridge appellation does allow full ripeness and consistent quality year in and year out. Aging for 16 months in a special mix of Taransaud French Oak barrels is the other key to the great flavors and drinking pleasure that is a hallmark of the DuPratt Zinfandel. The long season and elevation makes wines that are rich, elegant and complex. They are more like fine Claret than typical old vine Zinfandel from California.