2015 Palachchak Zinfandel
Palachchak is the Coast Miwok word for the California Acorn Woodpecker. The bird is named for its ability to drill holes with its beak into trees or softwood (houses or posts) and place the acorn into the hole for food later on in winter and spring.
As for the wine, we do a similar approach by carefully identifying the best lots of zinfandel and syrah after their initial aging. We blend those lots and return the wine back to all neutral French oak barrels for additional aging. The extended aging (24 mos) allows for the full integration of the blend as well as further softening of the grape and oak tannins. Once the wine is bottled, it ages for an additional 2-3 years before it's ready for release–upwards of 5 years of aging! This results in a full-bodied wine that reigns with explosive fruit and structure but with a smooth, velvety finish. Expect this wine to age gracefully well past 10 years after its vintage date.
The 2015 vintage experienced one of the hottest summers on record in the Shenandoah Valley of California. This led to a shortened growing season and one of the earliest harvests in 30 years. The first lots were harvested in late August with the Syrah coming in a full month early in early September. The wine averaged 17 days of skin contact before being pressed out. The wine aged for a full 24 months in 40% new American & French oak barrels.
65% Picnic Hill Vineyard Zinfandel, 25% Alitia Vineyard Zinfandel, 10% Winddance Farms Syrah
Story Winery Alitia Vineyard (Zinfandel) - planted c.1984. Dry-farmed, head-pruned, organic. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily, deep decomposed granite, forming sandy loam, well drained), east-west orientation.
Story Vineyards Picnic Hill Vineyard (Zinfandel) - planted c.1896. Dry-farmed, head-pruned, on original rootstock. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily, deep decomposed granite, forming sandy loam, well drained), east-west orientation.
Winddance Farms Vineyard (Syrah) - planted c. 2002. Trellised VSP (Vertical Shoot Position), irrigated. Planted on Aiken soil, (primarily, well drained volcanic soil with deeper clay loam base), north-south orientation.
Aromas of ripe cherries, nutmeg, dark chocolate, followed by intense cedar, tobacco leaf, and a hint of black pepper. Flavors of raspberries, cocoa, and cola explode yet, are constrained by structured tannins and oak leading to a long linear finish.