2014 Palachchak Zinfandel
Palachchak is the Coast Miwok word for the California Acorn Woodpecker. The bird is named for its ability to drill holes with its beak into trees or softwood (houses or posts) and place the acorn into the hole for food later on in winter and spring.
As for the wine, we do a similar approach by carefully identifying the best lots of zinfandel and syrah after their initial aging in 40% new American & French oak barrels. We then rack those lots, blend them, and return the wine back to all neutral French oak barrels for additional aging. The extended aging (24 mos) allows for the full integration of the blend as well as further softening of the grape and oak tannins. Once the wine is bottled, it ages for an additional 2-3 years before it's ready for release–upwards of 5 years of aging! This results in a full-bodied wine that reigns with explosive fruit and structure but with a smooth, velvety finish. Expect this wine to age gracefully well past 10 years after its vintage date.
2014 was again another dry year and a major forest fire (Sand Fire) came right to the edge of the Picnic Hill & Alitia vineyard plots at Story Winery and Vineyards. Thankfully, due to the maturity cycle of the grapes, no smoke taint affected these wines. Additionally, no forest fires approached the Winddance Farms vineyard in Central Amador Co. where the Syrah grapes originate from. With extended drought conditions and low yields this wine is concentrated in flavors and tannin structure.
75% Picnic Hill Vineyard Zinfandel, 20% Alitia Vineyard Zinfandel, 5% Winddance Farms Syrah
Story Winery Alitia Vineyard (Zinfandel) - planted c.1984. Dry-farmed, head-pruned, organic. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily, deep decomposed granite, forming sandy loam, well drained), east-west orientation.
Story Vineyards Picnic Hill Vineyard (Zinfandel) - planted c.1896. Dry-farmed, head-pruned, on original rootstock. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily, deep decomposed granite, forming sandy loam, well drained), east-west orientation.
Winddance Farms Vineyard (Syrah) - planted c. 2002. Trellised VSP (Vertical Shoot Position), irrigated. Planted on Aiken soil, (primarily, well drained volcanic soil with deeper clay loam base), north-south orientation.
Aromas of nutmeg, dark chocolate, and cherry liqueur followed by cedar, tobacco, and a hint of black pepper. Flavors of raspberries, cocoa, and cola explode in the mouth followed by a smooth finish of ripe cherries and a hint of oak.