2019 Black Sears Estate Zinfandel

Planted in 1975 on old St George rootstock with bud wood from the historic Hayne Vineyard in St Helena, this twelve-acre, head-trained hillside vineyard is 100% dry-farmed and the most elevated in all of the Howell Mountain AVA at around 2400 feet. Planted atop an old apple orchard from the previous century, spaced 8-feet by 12-feet, this vineyard is a time-machine back to old Napa, literally located above the clouds in heaven...

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Visually, the 2019 Black Sears Estate Zinfandel is a dark, fig purple, highlighted by a ring of Persian plum red at the glass's edge. The nose opens with boysenberry and prunes before evolving into notes of white pepper, leather, and the floral hints of lavender and daphne. On the palate, this is a rich, voluptuous Zinfandel that offers an abundance of ripe, dark fruit and a slightly higher pH than usual. In contrast to the 2018, the 2019 is soft and welcoming from the start, blossoming into a bouquet of black cherries, graphite, and vanilla. By the time it hits the back of the throat, the classic Black Sears earthiness finally makes its entrance, staying true to its origins here at the top of Howell Mountain, where unparalleled biological diversity is the essence of the terroir.

Pair with prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted broccolini, with the cool-yet-vulnerable, plaintive-yet-romantic sounds of Chet Baker on the turntable. Then open Camus' The Plague, and recognize that when the fighter goes down swinging and ultimately meets the mat, the only thing left to do is get back up.

ABV - 15.1%
Acidity - 5.9 g/L
Aging - 18 months in 100% French Oak, 1/3 new, 1/3 old, 1/3 neutral
Appellation - Howell Mountain
Bottling Date - March 2021
Farming - Oh yeah, mos def
Fruit - Grapes. The F*ck you think?!
Harvest Date - September 18th 2019
pH - 3.7
Region - California
Sub-Region - Napa Valley
Type - Red
Varietal - Zinfandel
Vineyard - Black Sears Estate Block One
Vintage - 2019
Winemaker - Thomas Rivers Brown