This wine is so joyous, and to me, distinctly Californian. I never knew how much I loved Zinfandel until I started working as Chris Brockway’s (Broc Cellars) Assistant Winemaker. When picked before the grape berries begin to shrivel, you get amazing hibiscus, rhubarb, pomegranate, and baking spices from Zin. Like an avocado, the window is small between unripe and overripe for Zin, and I watch our Zinfandel vineyards closely. 2019 was the first vintage we worked with a new Zin vineyard called North Ponderosa, which is located in the Sierra Foothills. The grapes from this vineyard feel more alpine in their flavor profile and body, bringing exciting new characteristics to this blend. Carignan, Zin’s less celebrated companion, provides a savory component reminiscent of driving through California chaparral, and, like Ricetti’s, can be incredibly complex with 70 years of vine age. I’m not re-inventing the wheel with this classic old vine Zin/Carignan blend, just lightening things up a bit.