Zinfandel, Secret Stones, Rockpile Vineyard, Sonoma Valley 2017
About the Vintage
2017 is another great vintage for Zinfandel in Sonoma County. 2017 had a few significant vintage events: (1) Upon bud break, a lighter than normal crop was observed - boding well for a quality vintage. (2) During bloom (around May) we had a very cool period which resulted in lots of unfertilized berries. These berries are removed from our sorting table - further enhancing the quality vs quantity approach, and our sorting tables were busy. (3) A significant heat spike in early September sent many wineries into harvest, but our wise team held off and allowed the vineyard to rebound… which brought about amazing perfume, complexity, and depth to a small, high quality harvest. Our final wines reflect the nuances of the 2017 year and we believe this will be a favorite vintage for many of our fans and collectors.
Winemaker Tasting Notes
The resulting single vineyard blend displays signature Rockpile character of a higher tier - higher quality expression, with great richness, power, and depth—the 2017 does not disappoint. The elements of this vintage play right into our quality scheme. Concentrated and expressive dark fruits, fresh cracked pepper, patent pending crayon perfume, dried underbrushed, and bitter sweet chocolate are all benchmarks of this significant Rockpile bottling. Drink now or let the wine improve for several years in the cellar and enjoy it until 2027.
Purely Domestic Wine Report | 97 Points
The nose is a firm and savory tapenade with soaked cherries and camphor showing underlying espresso and mocha. The palate entry is exceptionally open and supple with textured blackberry and dark stone fruits in the core delivering mouth-coating density and sense of purity.
Jeb Dunnuck | 95 points
Rocking levels of plums, cedary spice, licorice, and brambly herbs emerge from the 2017 Zinfandel Secret Stones, which includes a splash of Petite Sirah and spent 18 months in just 20% new French oak. Possessing medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins, terrific mid-palate depth, and a seamless, silky mouthfeel, it’s an awesome Zinfandel, especially noteworthy given that 2017 was incredibly challenging for this variety.
Wine Enthusiast | 93 Points
From a dry-farmed site planted at 1,500-foot-elevation, this wine shows power and concentration, blended with a small portion of Petite Sirah. Tight, firm tannin weight supports earthy sage, dried herb and mocha, a whiff of mountain air elusively emanating from the glass. Dark, brooding black fruit remains fresh and vibrant, framed in a stone-like minerality.
Grape: 85% Zinfandel & 15% Petite Sirah
Vineyard: Madrone Spring Vineyard, Dry Farmed California Certified Sustainable Wine Growing
Appellation: Rockpile, Sonoma County
Vintage: 2017 - Bottled March 19th, 2019
Winemaker: Clay Mauritson, Ian Blackburn &
Alcohol: 14.75%. PH: 3.74 TA: 6.300 (g/L)
Aged: 15 months, French Oak (20-25% new)