Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pedroncelli Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfandel Celebrating 90 Years #PED90th

Another memorable tasting with the great folks at Pedroncelli Winery as the celebration of 90 years of making delicious affordable wines continues. Tonight along with a few friends across the country and the scoundrel duo of Ed St John and Robert Larsen, we tasted the 2015 Bench Vineyards Merlot followed by 2015 Block 007 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon then ending the evening with the 2015 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel. The later paired with the lasagna recipe provided by the winery. All 3 are really nice wines and the comment "wowzer" may have been uttered after a few glasses (no singing but there is a relic of some "guy" holding a glass with a commemorative 90th Anniversary hat on).

Normally I would write about the history of the winery, the family involved in a post but since I have included in prior tastings lets change up things and talk about the vineyards and the wines themselves. For those wanting to revisit Celebrating 90 Years With Pedroncelli please click the link.

Starting with Bench Vineyard located in Dry Creek Valley. The location is perfect for growing and exactly the type of grapes needed to produce this luscious Merlot. The vines themselves were first planted in 1990 and over the next 5 years. Think about the maturity of vines 22 to 27 years old and the fruit they have produced over the years. The soil is gravely/rocky and the vineyard rises into the hillside. I picture these majestic rows of vines which have produced countless tons of grapes as I pour my glass of nectar. The 2015 Merlot grapes were harvested late August, cold soaked in stainless steel tanks for 48 hrs with daily pump overs and finally aged 11 months in American Oak. The nose  shows character with dark plum and spice with hints of red fruit and a faint nuance of oak. The mouth is full of rich fruit and succulent. Bold dark plum with a nice warm spice and hints of red berry clusters. Allow the wine to open and a nice vanilla toasty oak compliments the fruit. Gentle tannins on the finish. One you must taste.

Block 007 (Bond, James Bond but no connection I just like saying that with my hat on) located on the eastern bench of the vineyard, produces quality fruit each and every year. The block was planted in 1992 on the Scott Henry trellis system which allows the cordon arms to split into tiers with the top producing 3 ton and the bottom 2 ton. Another aged vineyard and starting to see a pattern as to quality and consistency. These grapes were harvested mid September, cold soaked 48 hrs and fermented in small temperature controlled steel tanks. Aged 16 months in French and American Oak barrels. The 2015 Cabernet nose shows nicely with blackberry and raspberry fruit followed by currants, dried herbs and a hint of earthiness. The mouth is full of ripe fruit with red raspberry, dark cherry and blackberry. Herbs and earthy notes intermingle with the fruit and the finish is long but very soft for a cabernet. A real beauty.

The Bushnell Vineyard located on the eastern hillsides of Dry Creek Valley on 22 acres, John Sr purchased this property in 1943 so it has been in the family fold for many years. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane have been planted on the property with Zin and Petite Sirah grown today. Grapes for this wine were harvested the first week in September, fermented in stainless steel tanks with daily pump overs to enhance color and flavor with aging 16 months in American Oak barrels. The nose exhibits clusters of dark fruit and cracked pepper spice with a hint of smokey oak. Full bodied with the dark fruit, pepper spice and big tannins. Let this open in the glass and the profile changes a bit where the fruit and layers of spice and oak becomes more defined. Paired so well with the lasagna.

A bit sad that this is the last taste up celebrating the 90 Years Of Pedroncelli. It has been wonderful tasting these hand picked wines and recipes. Ed, Julie and all the family thank you for a year long tasting of exquisite wines in your portfolio. Robert Larsen as always thank you for including me as well. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Make sure when in CA wine country a stop at Pedroncelli is on your list of tastings.


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