2018 Zinfandel 'Vista Luna'
"This beautiful parcel of grape vines still takes my breath away. It combines all of the things we at Neyers Winery look for in vineyards. The soil is rocky -- uncommon for Zinfandel in California, as most of the acreage devoted to that variety is planted on sandy loam or clay. The rocky soil brings out a brightness in both the aroma and flavor of the finished wine, which enhances its complexity and makes it even more attractive in its youth. The rock found in much of this area is quartz, an igneous rock brought up from a mile or more below the surface centuries ago when the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range was formed. This part of northern California tends to be a warm growing region as well, but a weather phenomenon known as ‘The Sierra Rotor’ serves to bring cold, foggy air in from the Golden Gate and the vines are artificially cooled in the summer months as a result.
Most important though is the plant material, as the Zinfandel here was developed from vegetative propagation rather than clonal selection. Both berries and clusters are smaller than those normally seen on other Zinfandel vines in California. Accordingly, we can harvest the fruit at lower sugar levels – normally around 23.5% Brix, which gives us natural alcohol levels of 13.5 to 14.5%. This is a full degree of alcohol less that most Zinfandel bottlings today, and yields a wine that is every bit as flavorful, but fresher and considerably more user friendly.
The wine is aged for a year in neutral French oak barrels, then bottled without fining or filtration. That combination of minerality coupled with freshly squeezed raspberry is irresistible, and makes a charming match for almost anything you can dream up in the kitchen. We enjoyed it recently with a piece of fresh Dover Sole. Barbara prepared it lightly breaded, then sautéed it in lemon butter." - Bruce Neyers