★ Put on Your Tin-Foil Hats, Ladies & Gentlemen!! ★NoahR wrote:So for those on this thread, what are your thoughts on approximate drinking windows for the heritage wines?
I think I have maybe 1-3 of each of them from 2012-2013 through most recent releases.
I loved all of the recent releases when i tasted with Chris a few years ago, but the only one I remember thinking was fully blossomed and ready to drink was Dolinsek, with this beautiful, smooth blueberry thing going on.
Often I read about the early-drinking pleasures offered by certain Bedrock single-vineyard Zin/mixed black red wines.
To my thinking, these are vineyards with a large proportion of young vines. Whether that is a coincidence or an actual factor in the general accessibility of the following sites, I leave for wiser, more experienced people to decide...
• Dolinsek: "The oldest vines, planted in 1910, are roughly 70% Zin, and the rest is made up of Alicante Bouschet, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Teroldego, and a few mysterious others.
"The vineyard yields tiny quantities of intense fruit. It is this unique combination of fast-draining soils, cool climate, and interplanted varietals that allow the wines from Dolinsek Ranch to be utterly distinctive."
Growers' Profiles: Jim Dolinsek: "...Dolinsek pulled out 450 apple trees and, studying viticulture with Rich Thomas at Santa Rosa Junior College, planted three acres of four zinfandel clones (as well as nine rows of syrah 'because the nursery ran out of the zinfandel clone we wanted')...they kept the 4.5 acres of wizened, stumplike, dry-farmed, head-trained red vines, which, planted in 1910, produce only half a ton per acre."
2015 Dolinsek Ranch Heritage Wine: "In most years, Dolinsek Ranch Heritage Wine is one of the most immediately gratifying wines we make. In 2015 this is especially true...this is a wine that can, and perhaps should, be drunk young. Yes, you just heard me say that about a Bedrock wine. Sourced from Jim and Kathleen Dolinsek’s 1910 plantings, this scant yielding field blend of Zinfandel, Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Palomino, Black Muscat, and Burger is one of the last old vineyards on the east side of the Laguna del Santa Rosa."
2009 Dolinsek Heirloom Wine: "...The dry-farmed vines...yield up tiny amounts of concentrated fruit. How tiny? In 2009 we are talking .4 ton per acre!...If I had my way, this wine would be completely consumed in the next four years for its gorgeous primary fruit before the alcohol starts to show too much."
2014 Dolinsek Ranch Heritage Wine: "...Though this will certainly age nicely, it could be enjoyed on the earlier side with a good decant."
2016 Dolinsek Heritage Red: "...this wine, as in most years, is ready to impress in its youth. This is one to break into while you wait for 'Bedrock Heritage' and 'Monte Rosso' to come around."
The Dolinsek Vineyard is composed of 4.5 acres of +100-year-old vines plus 3 acres of young vines.
However, as pointed out twice in the Bedrock "Fall 2016 Release" email (7/26/16), MTP & Co deal with the old fruit.
The unusual Bedrock 2009 "Russian River Valley" Zinfandel is the exception that seems to prove the rule: "In 2009, I started to receive the beautiful old vines at Dolinsek Ranch in Russian River Valley. As part of the deal, I also agreed to take a couple tons of Jim Dolinsek’s younger vine Zin that grew on the adjoining hill."
• Sodini: "Planted in 1905, Sodini Vineyard is located along Limerick Lane in the far eastern reaches of Russian River Valley.
"The flat section of the vineyard features sandy-clay loam soils very typical of the Russian River Valley plain while the hillside features red clay loam soils more similar to those found at Teldeschi Ranch on the Dry Creek Bench. In addition to this the soils are chalk flecked, a reminder that Chalk Hill is also in close proximity.
"Owned by Steve Sodini and his wife, we are thrilled to lease and farm the vineyard—which has allowed us to start renewing the soil and site for future generations...."
2012 Sodini Vineyard Zinfandel: "...In early 2012 I received an email from a guy named Steve Sodini...He was at wits-end, tired of taking a loss on the vineyard, and was thinking that the only option might be to pull out the vines are replant to something higher yielding."
2015 Sodini Zinfandel: "Our first wine from this lovely vineyard since 2012—and boy has the vineyard changed...As is the case with too many old vineyards, there were lots of missing vines and soils had been depleted after years of production. In certain blocks almost 55% of the vines were missing, which meant the 16-acre vineyard was putting out less than 1 ton per acre...Missing vines have been replanted to a massale selection of cleaned up Zinfandel clones from 'Bedrock Vineyard' and are starting to bear fruit...Starting in 2015 we were able to select some of the best barrels for a vineyard designate (the remainder is a core of the 'Old Vine" blend)...This is satisfying stuff that will age nicely but can also be enjoyed on the sooner side with a generous decant."
The Sodini Vineyard is certainly an old vineyard, yet its high proportion of replantings makes me wonder how much of the century-old vine fruit goes into the vineyard-designated Bedrock wine. The website only states that "In most years we select the best barrels for a vineyard designate while the remaining portion is a main portion of our 'Old Vine' Zinfandel bottling."
• Weill a Way:
2012 Weill A Way Mixed Blacks: "...Weill Vineyard is the vineyard formerly known as Shanel, from which David Ramey crafted some lovely Syrah’s. The vineyard was developed by Daniel Roberts, also known as Dr. Dirt, who aided in the planting of many vineyards including a couple used by the Turley-Wetlaufer duo on the coast. As such it carries all the hallmarks of a modern vineyard- tightly spaced, modern rootstocks, cane-pruned, etc. Though the vineyard is still mainly planted to Syrah (and is the backbone of the North Coast Syrah), we converted a small section of the vineyard to a recreated field blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Mourvedre."
2013 Weill a Way Mixed Blacks: "...This is one of the more straightforward wines in the release, but it will offer a lot of near-term enjoyment for those looking for a nice mouthful of layered dark fruit."
2014 Weill a Way Mixed Blacks: "In 2014 we took over the farming at Weill Vineyard which allowed us to dig a bit more deeply into the viticulture of the site...This will be delicious with a good decant earlier in its life."
2015 Weill a Way Mixed Blacks: "...This is forward and tasty stuff that will reward earlier drinking with a good decant."
2016 Weill a Way Mixed Blacks: "...Unlike our wines from older vineyards this wine is best enjoyed for its dark core and youthful bravado."
The portion of the Weill Vineyard planted to Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Mourvedre by Bedrock Wine Company is not a candidate for membership with the Historic Vineyard Society. Even as the Shanel Vineyard, the site was not a centennial planting.
I have surveyed the annals of the Bedrock Wine Company website to see if my ↑original↑ theory was correct:
Are the more accessible of the winery's vineyard-designate Zinfandel/Field Blends composed of a larger proportions of younger vine fruit?
Well, the Dolinsek, Sodini, and the recently added Pato Vineyard in the Bedrock line-up are old-vine sites. I am not sure what quantity of grapes from replacement vines, if any, are included in vineyard-designated bottlings, and what amount is relegated to the "Old Vine" Zinfandel.
I suppose that individual vineyard sites' climate/variety mix/soil type/etc, combined with vinification processes in the winery determine what bottlings are early-drinking and which ones need to be tucked further back into the cellar.