Once & Future 2018 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
Item Number: 14507
Sub Region: Central Coast
Appellation/AVA: Contra Costa County
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vineyard Designation: Oakley Road Vineyard
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Sand
Vintage Notes by Vinous 4/2020: "I was super-impressed with the 2018s from Joel Peterson's Once & Future. The 2018s are wonderfully vibrant, focused and full of character. In many ways, Peterson has returned to his roots from his early days at Ravenswood. The wines are made in open-top wood fermenters and handled minimally in the cellar. Quality is really driven by site, and no one knows these vineyards better than Joel Peterson. His boyish enthusiasm and humility are truly remarkable for someone who has had such a long and illustrious career. I can't recommend these wines highly enough" - Antonio Galloni
Joel's Tasting Notes: Full, round, rich, red and black fruit flavors. Very balanced with smooth fine tannins. Elegance and power epitomized.
Vineyard Notes: Oakley Road Zinfandel is planted on the same sandy slopes as the Oakley Road Mataro. These vines, planted around 1900, are on their own roots. They are truly bush vines coming out of the sand with multiple arms like hydra. Unlike most other California Zinfandel vineyards, the fruit is carried relatively low to the ground. The proximity to the ground acts as shelter from the wind, which can be moderately intense in the afternoon in Oakley. A good amount of light and heat is reflected back on the grapes from the sandy soils. The vineyard has about 10% Carignan and Mataro interplanted with the Zinfandel. The sandy soils and the own-rooted vines tend to produce unique, suave, and textural characteristics in the wine. The wine has bright, ripe flavors, and is very spicy with fresh acidity and smooth, fine tannins.
These Oakley Road vines may not be around much longer. This part of Contra Costa is changing rapidly. It has been an industrial backwater for a long time. High tension electrical lines, a PG&E power plant, and motels that rent by the hour stand in contrast to an inordinate number of churches and an increasing reality of fast food restaurants that populate a disjointed human landscape. There is increasing urbanization as roads are widened and BART pushes east. Many of these vineyards are for sale with inflated land prices, having been designated as commercial land—the result being land costs that are more compatible with strip malls than farming. For now, the vines remain in the ground, producing viticultural treasure. And for now, Joel continues to make lovely wine.