Stirm 'Wirz Vineyard' Zinfandel 2019

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From the very special Wirz vineyards planted in 1902, this is an uncommon California Zinfandel. Cool climate growing gives the wine unexpected freshness with ripe woodland berries and a citrusy finish, without the punishing alcohol and cloying ripeness stereotypical of the varietal. 

+ GRAPES: Organic. 90% Zinfandel, 10% Riesling. 

+ PROFILE: Juicy, aromatic. Medium body. Woodland berries, blackberry, a touch of white pepper and lemony lift. Bright acidity. A lilting reconsideration for this California varietal that speaks of its Mediterranean roots. 

+ FUNDAMENTALS: Dry-farmed. Fermented whole cluster in old redwood barrels. No fining/filtration. Low sulfur. A mere 190 cases made. 

The Wirz Vineyard, named for its longtime farmer-owner, Pat Wirz, sits in the wind-whipped Cienega Valley right on top of the San Andreas Fault, at the bottom of the eastern flank of the Gabilan mountains. Around the year 1900, it was planted to a typical field blend from vineyards in the Diablo range, consisting of Mataro, Carignan, Zinfandel, and the oddball—Cabernet Pfeffer. Dry farmed, ownrooted, head-trained, and organically farmed vines are the story in this special hidden valley. 

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