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    Grilled beef, Roasted lamb saddle & smoked Pork Ribs

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The Story

In the heart of Napa Valley, in the Rutherford appellation to be exact, grows a vineyard that is a throwback to Napa Valley’s past. This vineyard was planted in 1920 by Charlie Volpi on Zinfandel Lane (where else would you expect to find great Zin in Napa?) well before Cabernet Sauvignon became the dominate Napa Valley grape. It was planted early enough so that the dry farmed vines are on St. George rootstock, head pruned with 8x8 spacing, but late enough so that it is all of one variety, 100% Zinfandel. It is likely that varietally labeled grapes were easier sell to home winemakers during prohibition. The soil in this vineyard is Bale loam which is typical of Napa Valley floor vineyards.

For many years this vineyard was preserved and cared for by Dr. Bill Dickerson. He was a serious wine lover and collector. The pressure on him to pull out these old vines and plant Cabernet Sauvignon must have been great, but he persisted, having developed a respect for the history, tradition and quality that these old shy bearing (1.5 to 2 tons/acre) vines represent. I began working with Dickerson vineyard in 1982, not so long after I released my first wines from Ravenswood. Dickerson became one of the most popular of the Ravenswood Single Vineyard designated Zinfandels. The wines were dramatic. Cedar cigar box, mint and red raspberries were descriptors frequently used to describe the wine. At least part of that drama came from the very large Eucalyptus trees that were planted at the north end of the vineyard. A few years ago, one of those trees threatened to fall and was removed. This also removed some of the minty aromatic overlay revealing the true nature of the vibrant red fruited Zinfandel underneath. I had the good fortune to start receiving a small amount of the Dickerson vineyard fruit for Once & Future wine in 2019.


Wine Information

Alcohol: 15% 

pH 3.61

TA: 6.1 g/L

Age of vines: 100-year-old

Production: 150 cases

Bottled: in November 2020


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Written Notes

A new wine in this range, the 2019 Zinfandel Dickerson Vineyard emerges from a dry-farmed site in Rutherford planted on St. George rootstock in 1920. In this range, the Dickerson stands out for its core of textural depth and richness, all of which seem to accentuate Zinfandel varietal character. Bright acids and a touch a new French oak (40%) add character. As he does with so many sites in this lineup, Joel Peterson’s history with Dickerson goes back several decades, to 1981 and the Ravenswood days in this case.

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