2018 Zinfandel 'Vista Notre'
"While I’ve been working with Zinfandel grapes in my winemaking career since my first vintage at Mayacamas in 1972, the most success I’ve enjoyed with the variety has been with the Zinfandel bottlings from the ‘Vista Luna’ vineyard in the Borden Ranch AVA. That success has been based on three factors unique to this beautiful Sierra foothill vineyard:
-Use of an heirloom selection of Zinfandel, which because of its small berries permits the clusters to ripen evenly, with no raisins or green grapes.
-The vineyard is situated on a hard, rocky outcropping in this portion of the Sierra foothills, and it has one of the largest natural deposits of quartz in the state. This is reflected in the wine’s engaging minerality.
-The climate here while naturally warm, is cooled by a weather phenomenon known as the ‘Sierra Rotor’, a cool breeze that originates just off the Golden Gate, and is drawn to the Sierra foothills by the high pressure in the Central Valley.
Small, evenly ripened grapes, grown on rocky soil, and chilled naturally during the growing season combine to enable the fruit to reach full maturity at lower sugar levels. We can maintain relatively low alcohol levels in the wine, rarely exceeding 14%.
For the past decade or so we relied on a single vineyard in the Borden Ranch AVA of San Joaquin County for these grapes, but in 2018 we expanded our reach, and for greater complexity added fruit from two neighboring vineyards, each with similar characteristics. By doing this, of course, we lost the right to label the wine as ‘Vista Luna Vineyard’, but chose instead the name ‘Vista Notre’ to reflect how this style of Zinfandel has developed as a result of our long-standing perspective, or view on the grape variety. All three vineyards are in the same general area of the Sierra foothills, so they share a common terroir, a common sense of style, flavor and that elusive low alcohol character. Over the years, we’ve become increasingly drawn to this rare combination of bright fruit, low alcohol and attractive earthiness, and we’ve learned as well that the wines made from this area age with both style and grace. Here is the inaugural look at Zinfandel produced as a reflection of the Neyers Vineyards perspective." - Bruce Neyers