2014 Sky Vineyards, Zinfandel, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley.
The nicely aged and mature 2014 Sky Mount Veeder Zinfandel is drinking well and showing an almost Bordeaux like character, with a rounded mouth feel and a beautiful mix of dark fruits, mineral tones, loamy earth and subtle floral notes with a rustic charm that is highly compelling. I love the 2014 vintage in Napa, I admire the fruit concentration and cool edgy acidity that adds an elegant and lively energy and that shows here in Sky’s rustically charming Zinfandel, it’s a wine that hides its fruit density and revels in its brambly spiciness and lower alcohol, especially when compared to some other modern examples. The palate is starting to evolve in this dark purple/garnet terroir driven wine that has integrated layers of briar laced black raspberry, dark currant, plum and earthy mulberry fruits along with hints of acacia flowers, raw cedar, minty herbs, pepper, cinnamon and anise. The raw tannin, from this vineyard which towers above old Sonoma in the Mayacamas Range, gives this wine a distinctive presence and it was made with transparent, traditional and natural methods that allow this hillside vineyard its true sense of place. The hand labeled Sky Zin, with art done by the winemaker himself, always has some sediment and tartaric crystals with this 2014 having quite a bit, so a gentle decanting is recommended, but the wine drinks divinely and was excellent with my simple garden fresh meal, I absolutely love these Sky wines.

Sky Vineyards says the 2014 Napa Earthquake shook them pretty hard, right in the middle of our Zinfandel harvest, adding that although a major disruption in the area, it did not disturb the the final outcome or stop the classically intense mountain fruit profile, the fresh acidity, or the balanced tannin structure from showing in this old school Zin.The organic and sustainable Sky Vineyards, set on red volcanic soils, is located high up between Napa and Sonoma valleys, as they say, it is nestled near the crown of Mt. Veeder and open to the expansive sky, hence the name. The vineyard is a total of fourteen acres, and is planted at an elevation of 2100 feet on a prime eastern-facing hillside, an exposure that lets their Zinfandel and Syrah vines ripen completely, while retaining vitality, through their sunny days and fog-cooled evenings. One of the state’s Zin legends, Lore Olds handcrafts his wines with small batch fermentation(s) in open top one-ton bins with native yeasts and the wines see lengthy maceration(s) with rigorous punch-downs, usually three times a day until the wine is basket pressed to barrel. Sky uses well used French oak barrels and the elevage is typically just over a year and then the wine is rested in bottle a few years to mature before release. It should be noted that Sky is still recovering from the devastating 2017 fires, but even losing the home and part of the vineyard hasn’t stopped them and the wines continue to provide enormous pleasure, especially this 2014 Zin, I highly recommend grabbing a few bottles while they are still available.
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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