Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
Item Number: 16402
Sub Region: Sonoma
Appellation/AVA: Sonoma Valley
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Bedrock Vineyard
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 14.9
Total Acidity: 6.0 g/L
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Case Production: 275
Winemaking Notes: All the wines from the 2019 vintage have been made in the traditional Once & Future wine style: small open-topped redwood fermenters, full destemming, no berry sorting, indigenous yeast, hand punch down of the cap, indigenous malolactic fermentation, and aging in French oak on the yeast with variable amounts of new barrels, depending on the character of the wine. The wines were bottled with no fining or filtration. In short, this is very simple, traditional winemaking that relies on the unique aspects of the vineyard to define the flavor, nature, and quality of the wine. The goal here is not to make a good-flavored beverage, though these wines taste very good; it is to give the drinker a sense of the vintage and place that formed the flavors in these wines. These 2019 wines are bright and juicy on the palate with a strong spine of acid and tannin.
Vineyard Notes: Situated on the Agua Caliente Bench, Bedrock is one of the premier vineyard plots in Sonoma Valley. When Eugene Hilgard, the most important viticulture professor of his time, was asked in 1890 if any place in California could grow grapes to rival the great clarets of Europe, he unhesitatingly singled out this vineyard. Founded in 1854 by Generals “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker (just back from the Mexican-American War) and William Tecumseh Sherman (a San Francisco banker at the time), the spot has grown grapes for more than 150 years. Following the first phylloxera epidemic in the mid-1880s, it was replanted in 1888 by Senator George Hearst, a mining magnate and father of publisher William Randolph Hearst. In the early 1900s, Hearst’s widow Phoebe sold it to the California Wine Association, which made wine from it until Prohibition. In 1934, the vineyard was jointly purchased by the Domenici and Parducci families who ran the Valley of the Moon winery. When that relationship became acrimonious, the vineyard was split with the Parducci’s taking the winery and smaller land parcel, and the Domenici’s taking 152 acres that became as Madrone Ranch.
The Domenici’s sold the property to the Deininger/Peterson family in 2005. Joel renamed it Bedrock with a nod to its soil: Tuscan Red Hill series washed down from the adjacent Mayacamas Mountains to form the alluvial fan on which the vineyard is planted. Because the place had been cultivated harshly for 100 years, Joel broke up the pan with a mechanical spader and revitalized the soils with compost and cover crops of vetch, bell beans, and rye grass; the cobbly, well-drained loam, combined with long warm summer days and cool evening air flowing through the Bennett Valley Gap alongside Sonoma Mountain is superb for growing Zinfandel, a tradition we’ve maintained with old-school, head-pruned viticulture. The wines have an aromatic raciness and fine tannin structure that renders them elegant and long-lived.