2017 Martha Stoumen, Post Flirtation Red, California.
Martha’s Post Flirtation Red is made up of early picked and juicy Zinfandel 55% Grown in pure sand using sustainable and ecologically sound practices. Planted in the 60’s, these head-trained, dry farmed vines are the youngest in the historic Del Barba Vineyard in Contra Costa County and Carignan 45% grown in the cool section of the Redwood Valley, near Ukiah using certified sustainable and ecologically sound practices. Planted 1948. Head-trained, dry-farmed vines lovingly tended to by the Ricetti family, it was whole cluster, with old school foot-tread ferments and was raised on it’s own in well seasoned casks for about half a year. This Carignan, according to Martha has inky color, bright acid, and brings all of the tannin to the blend, while the Zin was all destemmed & aged in neutral small barrels for the six months before getting blended in to preserve freshness and fruitiness. Martha Stoumen, already with an impressive resume, apprenticing under many greats of the wine world already including Reinhard Löwenstein (Heymann-Löwenstein, Mosel), Jordan Fiorentini (Chalk Hill, California) Chris Brockway (Broc Cellars, California), Clive Dougall (Seresin, Marlborough), Didier Barral (Léon Barral, Faugères, France), and Giusto Occhipinti (COS, Sicily), she is one of a new generation of California winemakers that is looking to drop pretense and craft easy to love and fun wines that are exploring a new side of our state and bringing an old world sensibility to their wines. Her stated desire (is) to recapture a farming and winemaking culture that has all but faded away in the modern world, she’s minimalist and close to a naturalist in her winemaking approach, she describe it as, letting the natural yeast and bacteria present on the grape skins perform native fermentations, and allowing longer macerations and elevage/aging in some cases to give the wines stability, rather than using additives such as tannin, acid, or stabilizing agents (enzymes) striving always to craft wines that are delicious, joyful, and truly representative of California, herself and the growers. The 2017 Post Flirtation is fun, funky and fruit driven, but at only 12.7% it’s vibrantly fresh, spicy and much lighter in style than you’d expect from a dark Zin and Carignan blend, in fact it should be enjoyed with a slight chill even and is refreshing even on warm days with black raspberry, sugar beat, strawberry, sweet cherry, plum and tangy currant fruits as well as a herbal note (stems?) as well as an array of saddle leather, anise, pepper, cinnamon, a faint hint animal and earth. This is a simple and raw country wine much in the same vein as a Corbieres or the likes with that no excuse slightly funky edge, best enjoyed with meals and with good humor as well as close friends, drink up!
($25 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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