2000 Montelena Estate Zinfandel

At the Montelena Estate we have 9 1/2 acres of 30 year old Zinfandel vines, and about the same of 9 year old Primitivo-Zinfandel. For the last several years we used a proprietary name for the Zinfandel blend, “St. Vincent”, since it was pretty much half California-Zinfandel and half Primitivo-Zinfandel. Ahhh, but now we just call it what it is … good old Zinfandel. Genetic testing has determined, and the ATF has agreed, that Primitivo and Zinfandel are synonymous. The Mighty Montelena Zinfandel is back!

The 2000 growing season was relatively cool, but led into a warm harvest, so the grapes got a nice long ripening season and finished up nicely. The Montelena Estate vineyard, at the foot of Mount St. Helena in the northern Napa Valley, has cooler nights than most acclaimed Zinfandel regions, so the wines are never port-like or excessive but display nice, classic red wine balance of fruit, tannin and alcohol.

vintage weather

Cool. Average rainfall. Growing season dominated by cool weather and spikes of intense heat. Cluster loss from windy heat in June kept yield low. The light crop allowed full ripening and harvesting before the onset of wet weather. The wine is very refined, high quality.

tasting notes

In the glass it is a very dark ruby red color with good extract showing in the colored "legs". The aroma is very complex; spicy Zinfandel and a classic nose of raspberry, bramble and typical Montelena earth from the soil in which the vines grow. On the palate it is very brightly flavored with juicy red fruit, brambly spice and berry flavors. Best of all, it is smooth, just the way we like our Zinfandel. We hope you will be as excited to see our Zinfandel return as we have been to make it

Harvest Date September 6 to October 6
Sugar At Harvest 23.56º to 25.8º brix
Barrel Aging 12 to 16 months
Bottling Date April 2002
Release Date March 2003
Cases Produced 2,500
Alcohol 14.6%