Post Flirtation Red, Martha Stoumen, 2020, California

Post Flirtation Red, Martha Stoumen, 2020, California

Martha Stoumen

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Grape: 54% Carignan, 46% Zinfandel
Soil: Sand (Del Barba for Zinfandel), Gravelly Loam (Ricetti for Carignan)
Age of Vines: 70ish years
Farming: Organic, biodynamic
Winemaking: 100% destemmed, fermented separately and aged in stainless steel tanks for 6 months before blending and bottling

This wine is so joyous, and to me, distinctly Californian. I never knew how much I loved Zinfandel until I started working as Chris Brockway’s (Broc Cellars) Assistant Winemaker. When picked before the grape berries begin to shrivel, you get amazing hibiscus, rhubarb, pomegranate, and baking spices from Zin. Like an avocado, the window is small between unripe and overripe for Zin, and I watch our Zinfandel vineyards closely. Carignan, Zin’s less celebrated companion, provides a savory component reminiscent of driving through California chaparral, and, like Ricetti’s, can be incredibly complex with 70 years of vine age. I’m not re-inventing the wheel with this classic old vine Zin/Carignan blend, just lightening things up a bit.

This wine tastes like a lively hibiscus agua fresca with notes of orange peel and juicy pomegranate. A kitchen chameleon and a balanced blend, Carignan brings savory flavors while juicy Zinfandel brings sweet spices like clove and cinnamon.

- Martha Stoumen