2017 is another great vintage for Zinfandel in Sonoma County. 2017 had a few significant vintage events: (1) Upon bud break, a lighter than normal crop was observed: a well-boding sign of a quality vintage. (2) During bloom (around May) we had a very cool period, which resulted in a lot of unfertilized berries. These berries are removed from our sorting table, in observance of our insistence on quality over quantity, and our sorting table were busy. (3) A significant heat spike in early September sent many wineries into harvest, but our wise team held off and allowed the vineyard to rebound… which brought about amazing perfume, complexity, and depth to a small, high-quality harvest. Our final wines reflect the nuances of the 2017 year and we believe this will be a favorite vintage for many of our fans and collectors.
Hidden Hillsides is a Reserve selection, blending our most ambitious barrels together to make one of our more daring and bold Zinfandel statements, which features approximately 30% new high-tier French oak. 2017 shows off a very robust vintage with floral notes, amazing perfume and bold streaks of richness, Hillside character, and dense fleshy intense Zinfandel fruit. Beekeeper seeks to change minds about Zinfandel and to elevate standards for this amazing grape varietal.
Dark, floral notes, spice, dried herb, and underbrush give way to purple plum dark cherry, cracked black pepper, gravel stone, and crème brûlée. The elevated acidity from higher elevation hillside fruit ensures that this wine will age gracefully for a decade or more. 2017 is a bolder expression than in recent vintages and I anticipate it will be a favorite vintage for our mailing list clients. As usual, the virtue of patience is rewarded with properly aged Beekeeper wines. We also recommend drinking our wines just north of cellar temperature, cooler than most, at around 60 degrees.