2013 Harvest Moon Russian River Valley Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Faint black pepper and dark blackberry aromas begin the journey. More black fruit, pepper and spice hit the palate with a juicy burst. There is a unique floral herb lingering on the long drawn out finish. The mere 10% new oak wears well without interfering with the gorgeous fruit core. Drink now until 2022.
In 2013, the Russian River Valley experienced near perfect weather conditions. Above average temperatures during the day and slightly above average temperatures at night offer a fuller bodied, riper approach than a normal Harvest Moon Zinfandel. The fruit for this blend of Estate Zinfandel is grown at three tiny vineyards all located within 4 miles of the winery. These vineyards range from a baby 8 year old vineyard to an established 25 year old vineyard to an old vine block planted over 8 decades ago. Each component adds its own personality to the overall blend. Lighter brighter fruit form the young vines, spice and the “punch” from the mature Pitts Home Ranch vineyard and the body and dark fruit from the deep-rooted, dry farmed old vine.
Carefully harvested from mid-September to the first of October, these lots were fermented in 3/4 ton open top t-bins. With an average fermentation lasting 12 days, the grapes had enough skin contact to release color and structure yet, yet allowed the elegance of Russian River Valley Zinfandel to shine. As evidence of the lighter hue, our fermentation management was one of a gentle yet consistent approach. Punchdowns occured every 8 hours beginning at 6am, then again at 2pm and finally again at 10pm. Keeping the cap wet is essential in preventing a film to build on the surface, detrimental to future aromas and fresh flavors.
This wine was blended in December of 2014 and bottled in May 2015 with very light filtration.
Pairing: Brisket, pulled pork
Style: New World
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Drinkable: now until 2022
Harvest Date: 2016-09-19
Harvest Brix: 23.2°
Residual Sugar: .06g/L
Included in the Box
3x 2013 Harvest Moon Russian River Valley Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
12x 2013 Harvest Moon Russian River Valley Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Harvest Moon Estate & Winery was founded on growing, producing and bottling world-class Russian River Valley wine in a balanced, elegant style. Our premise is that Russian River Valley Zinfandel can be just as layered and complex as any Pinot Noir or Bordeaux variety in the world and receive the same respect. The Pitts family has grown quality grapes in the Russian River Valley since 1976. In 2000, son Randy reverse migrated from San Francisco back to Sonoma County to assume the farming responsibilities at the family’s modest nine-acre ranch. In conjunction with lessons on farming by his Dad and a few viticulture/enology courses at the local junior college, Randy made a barrel of homemade Zinfandel off the ranch’s back block which turned out exceptionally tasty. Quickly concluding that properly farmed and judiciously fermented, Zinfandel has great capabilities of being California’s own wine nobility. The growers-turned winemakers birthed their inaugural vintage in 2002 and look forward to making their Zinprint on the winescene for decades to come.
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I thought the first bottle of this I had was good, and the second was better (you can see my CT notes). I’ve got two more, but HM Zin is always a good buy around here. I’d take a couple more if splits are needed.
Just opened my third of four bottles of this from the earlier offer. First bottle, opened shortly after being received, was just okay. Second, a few months later, was better. Now, this one is pretty good. It seems to be aging well.
There’s a little wood in the aroma, but it doesn’t seem to carry over much into a sip of the wine. What’s there is good; I’d be happy with a lot more, but then I like oak. The wood in the aroma does seem to come out more after the wine has been open for a while.
The blackberry definitely comes through, maybe with a bit of mulberry, too. The fruit continues through mid-palate and fades slowly through a long finish. This is not a tannic grabber, but rather pretty mellow. The finish is similar to that of a good dessert wine, but without the alcohol.
Tried with some cheeses: works well with 7-year aged white cheddar. Doesn’t do much for smoked string cheese. Also works well with some Stilton, although the cheese tends to overcome the wine, leaving a hint of alcohol.
I’ll have to see how this works out with supper tomorrow night. I like the case price, but I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger.
@DickL This got left out overnight and today the kitchen was warm, up in the 80s. I stuck it in the fidge for a while to cool it back down. The first pour was rusty looking and not too pleasant, but subequent glasses were okay. The earlier hint of wood is gone. It probably should have gone back to the cellar until supper time. Live and learn.
It did work okay with a milder blue cheese tonight (Salemville gorganzola) and with a fairly hard gruyere. It still leaves a nice taste in the mouth. This probably should be drunk within a few hours of being opened (or maybe stored under inert gas).
The case price is good, but my cellar is overflowing, so I’ll reluctantly pass on this one. If you’ve got the space, I’d say go for it. It won’t impress the wine geeks, but it pretty agreeable to drink.
I would be interested in one or two bottles if anyone in the bay area is looking for a split. (I have fifteen cases of Zinfandel, I cannot justify buying Zinfandel for basically the next forever, but I would be interested in trying this.)
Why is the dark side of the moon dry? Because the other side has all the moonshine.
I had the Harvest Moon Pinot noir a few years back and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to be introduced to another member of the family.
We popped the Zinfandel and the color was medium to light ruby with some berries on the nose. It’s not overly fruit forward, more jammy and earthy. My wife picked up a little oak. The first taste was smooth and was true to the nose with a slight tartness. The wine had low to medium acidity and medium tannins. This was perfectly drinkable on it’s own but paired great with a cheese board.
We enjoyed this one and thought it was a very drinkable summer red, especially in the New Orleans heat. We estimated mid $20s for price and will definitely pick up some bottles at this price.