Our now ubiquitous whole berry fermentation technique was first developed for Zinfandel to Maximize berry flavors while taming the Zins typically high alcohol and tannins. We don’t crush the berries but gently destem them, triple sort them and introduce fermentation in the small amount of free run juice in the fermentation tank. Most of the fermentation takes place inside the berry, trapping volatile compounds that enhance flavor, mask high alcohol and make the wine smoother. Extended barrel aging, almost unique to Deerfield, marries the components into a harmonious balance. We use mostly Pennsylvania American oak barrels to age this wine, which accentuates the front palate experience. American oak pairs particularly well with Zinfandel. The wine from the different blocks are aged separately for over two years before the blend is constructed by taste. The barrels were racked only once during its three and a half years of aging, longer than any other California Zinfandel. The barrels were topped every three weeks and tasted every other month. We made small corrections along the way to keep the wine clean and happy.
If you want to know what Zinfandel should taste like, this is it. The aromatic entry, like a potpourri of black Boysenberries and red raspberries, explodes in the middle palate with big round fruit that adds strawberries and ripe cherries, all together, the essence of Zinfandel grapes.