Sky Zinfandel 2015-Heritage Wine Store Perth CBD Bottleshop

Sky Zinfandel 2015

Regular price $170.00

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    • TASTING NOTE: There is real sinew and intensity here, yet Lore’s wine beautifully balances a Syrah-like spicy berry succulence with Zinfandel’s meaty-peppery savouriness. It’s long and complex, unfurling in leatherwood honey, olives, herbs and liquorice, with a tangy freshness and finish steeped in berries and spices. Bibendum
    • ABOUT THE WINE: A small portion of fruit from Sky’s original 1972 block is included in the blend, but the lion’s share is drawn from vines planted in 1999. In 2015, California was in the midst of a five-year drought, so berries and clusters were small in this low-yielding year. The fruit was handpicked in early September at 13.3 Baumé and fermented in open-top fermenters for 10-14 days with a small portion of whole berries (5 to 10%) and a smaller portion of whole bunches.

      The wine was then pressed in the estate’s old (1906) hand-crank press, run each vintage by Lore and his brother, and the wine then rested in used oak for 14 to 20 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Each bottle is matured on site until Lore completes the artwork and the wine is deemed ready for release―there’s no hard and fast rule as to which comes first; Lore has his process! There is real sinew and intensity here, yet Lore’s wine beautifully balances a Syrah-like spicy berry succulence with Zinfandel’s meaty-peppery savouriness. It’s long and complex, unfurling in leatherwood honey, olives, herbs and liquorice, with a tangy freshness and finish steeped in berries and spices. Lore completed the artwork for the 2015 Zinfandel after the devastating fires of 2017. “The piece depicts the winery as an icon of survival, surrounded by flames, but not burning.” Bibendum 

    • ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Lore Olds first stumbled upon the secluded, rugged slopes of Mount Veeder as a young winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyards in the mid-‘60s. Captivated by the frontier-like beauty of the mountain, he was taken under the wing of the legendary Bob Travers of Mayacamas Vineyards. It was here he first learned to make mountain wines in the classic Napa mould of the time: wines where refinement, soul and longevity were valued above power.

    • By 1971, Olds had saved enough to purchase his own property. Just one mile as the crow flies, from the Mayacamas cellar, the 80-hectare Sky property was planted to just 5.5 hectares. Instead of planting the in-vogue Bordeaux varieties, Olds took the less travelled path, deciding to focus on ‘California’s own’ grape variety, Zinfandel. In those days, Californian Zinfandel was far from the bombastic, high-octane wines you often find today. It was altogether something more restrained, balanced and red-fruited, with alcohol barely topping 13.5%. The first vines were planted in 1972, the same year Paul Draper selected Lytton Springs Zinfandel to join Ridge Vineyard. Olds was banking on combining the deep rocky volcanic soils and Veeder’s climate, allowing him to grow low yields of fully ripe fruit at lower potential alcohol and with higher natural acidity. The combination worked out better than he could have hoped. High above the fog line, 670 metres high on Mount Veeder, the site enjoys the cool, breezy Pacific conditions with less overt influence from the fog than their Valley neighbours—conditions that mitigate disease pressure and facilitate organic farming. Notably, the site faces east, basking in the gentle morning sunshine while getting shelter from the harsh afternoon heat. This, combined with the cold night-time temperatures, gives a wide diurnal range, perfect for slow ripening, development of complex flavours and retention of natural acidity (plenty of which you will find in Sky’s refreshing, high country wines). Save for copper sulphate when required, there are no treatments in the terraced, dry-farmed vineyard, which is untilled and managed with eco-grazing and permanent cover crops. “My dad cares more about the whole world rather than just one thing, and that’s how he raised my sister and me,” Lore’s daughter Maya explains. “We approach Sky as a whole system rather than individual component parts.” Alongside his vines, Olds also tends a grove of quince trees, which have supplied Alice Walter’s iconic Chez Panisse restaurant. In keeping with the frontier spirit, Sky Vineyards is an entirely off-the-grid affair, relying on solar panels and occasional generator use for all their power. And in the cabin-like winery cellar, Sky’s low-tech winemaking remains much as it was in the ’70s, down to the old 1906 hand-cranked Apple press used since 1972. The wines only see little in the way of whole bunches or berries and mature at length in old French oak barrels. Critically, all of Sky’s wine rests further in a bottle for many years before release. Not only does this allow Veeder’s mountain tannins to melt into the wine’s lithe structure, but it also allows its powerful volcanic terroir to unfurl in the bottle. It pays to have friends in California, without whom we may never have found this wonderfully unconventional grower. Sky does not submit wines for review and seldom revives visitors, so it should be little surprise they operate under the radar. Yet, for those who do discover the wines, beauty awaits. Today, Lore is joined by his daughters Mayacamas (Maya for short)—a respected viticulturalist—and Skye, but there are no plans to deviate from the estate’s time-honoured philosophy. These are some of the State’s most soulful, terroir-driven and original wines, right down to Lore Old’s hand-painted labels that adore the bottles each release.

    • REGION: Napa Valley, California
    • VARIETAL: Zinfandel
    • WINE STYLE: Red Wine
    • WINEMAKER: Lorde Olds
    • CLASSIFICATION: Minimal Intervention, Unfined & Unfiltered, Sustainable Farming, Vegan
    • CLOSURE: Cork
    • ABV%: 14%
    • SIZE: 750ml


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