2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Block 007 Estate, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Blackberry and plum aromas with notes of dry green herbs and pepper rounding out the nose. Berry flavors combine with toasty oak and hints of thyme and oregano, typical of this vineyard’s personality. The long finish with lasting fruit is simply elegant. Good acidity and medium tannins lead to great aging potential. Obviously this wine has no connection to a world famous British Special Agent. It’s simply the name of a vineyard……007, Block 007.
Vineyard & Winemaker Notes
We farm 29 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon on our estate and were the first to plant the king of red wine grapes in Dry Creek Valley circa 1965. Block 007 was established in 1992 on the Scott Henry trellis system which splits the cordon arms into a double tier with the upper arm usually bearing about 3 tons of grapes per acres while the lower arm bears about 2 tons per acre. This is for optimum production and ripeness. The soil is well drained and located next to Canyon Creek where it is gravelly and ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grapes were picked on September 28 following good growing season conditions with enough rain during spring to provide great development and then a long hang time to fully mature the fruit. Good acid balance and mature tannins with high intensity in aromatics and flavors are the result. The juice and berries are cold soaked for 48 hours and then inoculated with the Bordeaux yeast strain. Fermentation in our small capacity temperature controlled stainless steel tank gave optimal skin/juice ratio and better extraction of flavor and color. The young wine was transferred to small French and American oak barrels to age for seventeen months with 30% new French oak.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Composition: Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Barrel Aging: 17 months in 30% new French and American oak barrels
Total Acidity: .595g/100mg
2016 Zinfandel, Bushnell Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
The deep red-purple of this wine shows great depth of color from the vineyard. Spicy aromas of ripe berries mingle with hints of black pepper, cinnamon and toasty oak. Opulent flavors of blackberry, plum, a touch of vanilla and rich cocoa frame this wine. A rich and full bodied Zinfandel with a lingering finish and well balanced between fruit and tannins.
Vineyard & Winemaker Notes
Located on the eastern hillsides of Dry Creek Valley, the 22-acre Bushnell Vineyard has been closely related to the Pedroncelli family for over 50 years. Winery founder John Sr. purchased the property in 1943, and, at the time, it was planted to Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. The vineyard was sold to son-in-law
Al Pedroni in the 1950s and he tended the vineyard for over 40 years. Al’s daughter Carol Bushnell inherited the vineyard in the 1990s and she and her husband Jim now farm it. They grow Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
Good growing season conditions were provided in 2016 with enough rain during spring to give the vineyard all that it needed as well as generous hang time just before harvest to fully mature the grapes. Good acid balance and mature tannins with high intensity in aromatics and flavors is the result. Fermentation took place in a small capacity stainless steel tank which lends better skin-to-juice ratio. Daily pumpovers of juice over the cap extracted color, flavor and tannin. The young wine was transferred to American oak barrels to age for sixteen months. The time in the barrel added complexity, creating many layers of flavor.
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Barrel Aging: 16 months American oak barrels, 40% new oak
Total Acidity: .585g/100mg
2016 Merlot, Bench Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Aromas are rich and enticing with hints of strawberry, sage and baking spices. Flavors of red cherry, plum and notes of freshly ground black pepper are showcased along with a touch of vanilla and toasty oak. Medium bodied with rounded tannins follow through to a spiced finish. A beautifully balanced wine.
Vineyard & Winemaker Notes
The source for our Merlot comes from three blocks off of our estate vineyard located along Dry Creek Road from vineyard planted over 5 years beginning in 1990. Bench Vineyards, the name chosen for this wine, describes the natural terraces that flank Dry Creek Valley and rise gradually into the steep hills. Characterized by sloped topography and gravelly/rocky residual soils, the unique growing conditions combine to bring out the best in our Merlot.
2016 gave us very good growing season conditions. There was enough rain during spring followed by an even summer with cool weather towards the end which extended the growing season. This brought in fully mature grapes that were harvested over the second week of September. All of these worked to bring the right ripeness ratio along with balanced acids and tannins.
The grapes were crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and cold soaked for 48 hours. Daily pumpovers during the fermentation gives a substantial increase in flavor and color. The young wine was transferred to small American oak barrels to age for 12 months in order to develop smoothness and complexity,
giving the wine a subtle backbone of oak components.
The year was 1927. President Calvin Coolidge captured the imagination of nobody. Babe Ruth hit home run after home run powered by little more than whiskey and sausage. And John Pedroncelli, Sr. bought a vineyard and winery in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County. Since then, four generations of Pedroncellis have weathered Prohibition, wine booms and busts, and changing tastes. And they’re still a family-owned operation making acclaimed premium wines. Wherever you are now, Sultan of Swat and Silent Cal, this next glass is for you.
@pedroncellifam What got my attention was the deviation from what we’ve become accustomed to from Ped. For this one, what external influences, or winemaker decisions drove the AbV higher than the other two from the same vintage? It’s the change…
I’ve certainly had other bottles in this range where the alcohol wasn’t overtly unbalanced and knock you over, and some that have.
@rjquillin Ron, of all people… not to worry. The wine is balanced. Conversions were a little higher across the board in 2016. It’s a beautiful expression of Dry Creek Valley Zin. Very Pedroncelli in style, just a little bigger than you’ve had in the past.
Pedroncelli 2016 Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel
88 Points. This is an intensely jammy, rich, 100% varietal wine that’s rich and thick with elements of barbecue, grilled meat and Italian deli. It finishes in vanilla oak and black pepper. Alcohol 16.1% 12/31/18 VB
@IanMorr I found that as I let LARGE BOLD TEXT age a little more, it got better. I wasn’t really sold when I first received it. Down to one bottle that I’ll try to sock away for a few years. For science.
First time Lab Rat, long time purchaser, so take it easy on me as I am new to this Lab Rat thing!
Received an email on Thursday informing me that I had an overnight package that required an adult signature. My first thought was, did I accidentally order some wine from Casemates in my sleep? Then I realized that I probably had gotten the golden ticket. Shortly thereafter, I did receive an email telling me that I had indeed received the Golden Ticket, I was very excited since this will be my first experience as a Lab Rat. Redirected the package to my local FedEx store since I wasn’t going to be home on Friday and picked it up Friday evening.
On opening was very excited that it was a Pedroncelli (I started to go out and buy a lottery ticket as well), I received a bottle of the 2016 Pedroncelli Merlot (Bench Vineyards). My wife and I do not drink a lot of Merlot, but hey it’s Pedroncelli, who cares!
I let the bottle settle until Saturday evening and put in the fridge to cool a little more than room temperature before opening. On pop and pour, first impressions was a very dark red color and smells of fruit and earth. First taste was very fruit forward, I got mostly Cherry and I said Pomegranate (bottle says Plum but I didn’t really get Plum) and a good amount of tannins. A little bit of bitterness at the finish, but not too bad. My wife thought it was very smooth and liked it a lot. Nursed the first glass for about an hour and did not really notice too much change, but I didn’t think it was quite as smooth as my wife and felt like it needed more time to open up.
We capped the bottle and opened it back up on Sunday evening. Same cherries and earthiness but I felt like it had much less bitterness to me and I enjoyed it more on Sunday than I had on Saturday. Not to say I didn’t like it on Saturday, I just felt it had opened up a bit and was a little too easy to drink on Sunday.
So, overall, we both really enjoyed the 2016 Pedroncelli Merlot, it was a fruit forward, easy drinker, that opened up a bit after some time and probably could use a little more time in the bottle. I am very familiar with Pedroncelli wines and have been buying them for years from the old site and now from Casemates, and I know that many people are not waiting for the Rats on this one and it is an autobuy. If anyone has any other specific questions I will try to check back later in the day. Thanks Wine David for the opportunity to Lab Rat for the first time, we really enjoyed the opportunity!
@normanl0 Isn’t it a great feeling when that golden ticket arrives!!! Very nice job Ratting and glad you saved some for Day 2!!! If I pull a cork, I’ll let red wine breathe a couple of hours or run it through a Venturi and let it sit about 5 -10 minutes. I’ve noticed next day wine really shows vast improvement from day one!! All I do is pump the air out to create a small vacuum!
@valed1 I think you send a lot of $$money$$ to winedavid49 or you have to pray every day for great wine??? When I signed up, I believe through Kickstarter, to continue to the great journey from WW, I signed up for VMP and remote breakout party. One of the benefits was to get put on the Rat listing. Now, I think all you have to do is beg a lot or follow the first line of this post!!
@Winedavid49 My brain, finger and wallet wants to press the button on more Pedroncelli, just wondering if we’ll hear from the winery on the 16.1% on the Zin and wondering if we have other Rats on the Zin and Cab?
@Boatman72@Winedavid49 Aloha! Sorry for the late reply, I’m in Maui and have just awakened from my Macadamia nut coma!
We did notice a higher than normal conversion rate from sugar to alcohol with 2016 vintage overall, and especially in the Zinfandels. When asked if we should consider de-alcing, our winemaker felt the wine was balanced and big enough to support the alcohol. Trying to find balance of fruit and acid is tricky business. This is a text book example of Dry Creek Valley spice and pepper. It’s big and bold, but well mannered. I think you’ll enjoy it!
God Lord, man! We’ve had to open up a new section in the basement for cased wines. CASED WINES!
We were in for the 2015, and still have a couple of the Block 007s, which make me feel very Bondish, but only have a bottle each of the Merlot and Zin. It’s not even Christmas yet… what’s next? Please, just don’t let it ship to Illinois.
@chipgreen@edwoz@winedavid49 But they are not necessarily accurate. I’ve asked about a couple of wines because of travels and have been answered with dates different than those posted. Which I appreciate. Not b*tching, just saying if a posted delivery date is problematic for you, doesn’t hurt to ask.
Been on a 10 month hiatus from Casemates…so much for taking advantage of VMP. Turns out being a first time homebuyer is more expensive than I anticipated. Figured this is a good buy to jump back in though for some juice as I host my first Christmas!
@tklivory you and i have the same problem: space. i am bursting at the seams. I’ll go ahead and order, you and i can 6/6 on it. I know i need to schedule a time to pick up some from you, so that will work peachy.