Alongside Zinfandel, there's 9% petite sirah and 9% carignan for balance and body, offering up a classic nose of brambly raspberries, garrigue, lovely spice tones, a fine base of soil, a bit of venison and a top note of woodsmoke. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still quite primary, with a lovely core, fine focus and balance, moderate tannins and a long, tangy and promising finish. This is still early days for this fine bottle, and I would be inclined to tuck it away in the cellar for three or four years to allow its secondary layers of complexity to start to emerge. It is quite drinkable today, but the real fireworks will come when it has had a chance to blossom with bottle age, in three to ten years.
Winemaker, Andrew Nalle and his viticulturist wife, April run the show. Their two young children will produce the 2042 vintage. Andrew’s parents, Doug and Lee, provide wisdom and support from their 40+ years of winery experience. Andrew’s younger brother, Sam, is a scientist in San Francisco and he provides encouragement and support. Then there’s the bevy of friends who magically appear at the right moment to lend a hand. Steve Edgar, from Arizona, still shows up for crush, and has, since 1991. The winery and home rest on land that has been in Lee’s family, the Henderlongs, since 1920’s. Her cousins, the Saini family, run the vineyard. In addition to the estate Zinfandel, Carignane, Cabernet and Merlot vineyard, two other local growers, Bernier Farms and Hopkins River Ranch, provide Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a smile and a handshake.