Zinfandel, 'Mendocino Cuvée - Les Enfants Terribles', Dashe Cellars
This is the first year that Dashe has produced a wine labeled “Mendocino Cuvee,” a wine that represents some of the highest quality lots of grapes in Mendocino County. The grapes for this blend came primarily from the Signal Ridge Vineyard, the highest-elevation vineyard in all of Mendocino county. The high elevation, steep slopes, and extremely rocky soil make the ideal growing conditions for making complex, balanced, compelling wines.
The wine is made using a technique called “carbonic maceration.” About 10% of the grapes are pitchforked into the tank as whole clusters. They do not crush the remaining grapes, and instead let the whole berries fill the tank. The tank is closed and blanketed with CO2 gas, and the fermentation is then conducted using the native yeasts on the grapes. After fermentation, the wine is racked into a special aging barrel – a giant 900-gallen French oak barrel from Burgundy – whose large format allows the wine to age without much oak flavor expression. The result is a very fruit-forward wine that has much of the character and texture of oak-aged wine, but without typical oak flavoring.
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