2014 'Korte Ranch' St. Helena Napa Valley Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Korte Ranch
California: Napa Valley: St. Helena
We are super discerning when it comes to Zinfandel, many examples come and go through our tasting panel, yet very few are worthy of presenting here with pride and joy…
It is no surprise that just a couple of years ago the news that Russell Bevan was taking on the winemaking at Elyse took the Napa Valley by storm. While Russell’s very first Zins from the 2018 vintage were just released, The Wine Spies somehow secured its Operatives ACCESS to the winery library to dig out this delicious find, offering prime drinking today at a price these wines will NEVER again be seen at. Pile up!
Black, blue, purple, and even maroon at times, the hues, and reflections here are of a multitude. Layers of black cherries, plums, incense, exotic spices, licorice, and tar overflow from the glass as the nose wafts to fill the room. On the palate, we find a stunning, full-throttle Zin with gorgeous richness and tons of depth in a prettily balanced style. The striking inner perfume and fabulous length carry oodles of ripe brambly fruit and floral nuance through a finish that you just do not want it to quit. Barbecue all day, and all night, meats, veggies, make sure you have cases, this beauty will not last the party!
Bevan’s predecessor Mike Trotta had taken the helm at Elyse in 2001, with previous stints around the globe, ranging from Bernardus in Carmel to Yalumba in Barossa. His approach to winemaking is one that emphasizes “balance of the sometimes opposing traditional and progressive styles” which truly shows in this impeccable Zin. First planted in the late 1800s, Korte Ranch remained in production through prohibition, under the guidance of the same family for 5 generations! The original head-pruned gnarly old Zinfandel vines that constitute this deliciousness remain still intact. All that legacy under $20 is almost shameful to offer. Almost. How we got a hold of this remains an enigma. SAVOR IT ALL while we look away…
While the wine press completely overlooked this wine (YAY, more for us!) for an older vintage Robert Parker once attested that “Elyse has been fashioning fabulous Zinfandels over recent years… the outrageously superb Korte Ranch Vineyard is remarkably well-balanced for its potency and flavor depth” while in a recent Wine Spectator highlight the 2015 vintage which ranked at the top; “Zinfandel can be fun and serious, and both styles are included in this week’s selection of wines from 2014, 2015 and 2016. All three vintages, in different ways, bring out the best in California’s historically significant grape. Elyse makes an outstanding Zin from the Korte Ranch Vineyard in Napa’s St. Helena AVA.”
Black, blue, purple, and even maroon at times, the hues, and reflections here are of a multitude.
Layers of black cherries, plums, incense, exotic spices, licorice, and tar overflow from the glass.
Stunning, full-throttle Zin with gorgeous richness and tons of depth in a prettily balanced style.
Striking inner perfume and fabulous length carry oodles of ripe brambly fruit and floral nuance.
Barbecue all day, and all night, meats, veggies, make sure you have cases, will not last the party!
What the Winery Says
- Mike Trotta
- 89% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, Carignane, Valdiguié, and Grand Noir
- St. Helena, Napa Valley
- Korte Ranch
- Total acidity
- 5.42 g/L
- Harvest dates
- September 4-9, 2014
- Harvest Brix
- 24.0° and 24.8°
- 14-day native yeast fermentation
- 10 ½ months
- 25% new American Oak