From the winemaker:
There’s a real freedom in an old head-trained vineyard such as the original Zinfandel block at the Black Sears Estate. You can wander as you like, unrestricted by metal posts and trellising wire. You can explore the vineyard, weaving through the rows, moving from plant to plant and sampling the fruit starting low on the hillside and moving upwards towards the ridgeline, which in this case comprises the high point of Howell Mountain.
With enough time in the block, you learn the nuances of the site and where the best swaths of vines exist. Many respected Zinfandel producers purchase fruit from these head-trained blocks, but the Black Sears label always saves their favorite rows for this Estate Zinfandel bottling.
In the glass the color of this wine is a deep plum hue with rose petal edges. Aromatic notes of white pepper, concentrated brambly fruit, and orange rind swirl around the glass with a bright vitality. On the palate, deeper notes of kirsch liqueur, umami, blackberry, graphite, dried rosemary and tarragon are intense, all while being light on their feet. This wine saw only 1/3 new French oak barrels so as to let the fruit really shine in the glass. Most people wouldn’t guess that some age on a Zinfandel is a good thing, but with the acid and mountain tannin profile found here, a few years in the cellar will round out any hard edges.
-Thomas Rivers Brown