Excellence Has No Boundaries:
Named after the Ghost Pines Vineyard purchased in 1964 by Napa’s historic Louis M. Martini Winery, Ghost Pines produces unique and contemporary wines from some of California’s premier appellations. Winemaker Aaron Piotter enjoys the freedom to choose the best grapes he can find, regardless of AVA. Inspired by the free-form character of its namesake tree, Ghost Pines embodies the progressive spirit of California winemaking "excellence has no boundaries."

Harvest Report:
Nearly 68 percent of our 2011 Zinfandel came from our very own vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley: Frei Ranch and Stefani Ranch. Selecting grapes from these vineyards has created a winethat is defined by soils that epitomize the Dry Creek Valley. Here, the 2011 growing season was wet and rainy, but still our grapes persevered to harvest. Luckily, most of our grapes escaped the late autumn rain and have shown good maturity with intense aromas and commanding structure. The remaining portion of this Zinfandel came from Lodi, where the cooler temperatures translated to longer hang time and produced fruit with deep concentration and rich, dark fruit characteristics.

The 2009 growing year was excellent for San Joaquin County, with the vintage very similar to the North Coast. It was a cool, moderate vintage with rapid growth, and a relatively large crop. However, the early rains in October were challenging for winegrowers who still had grapes hanging on the vine. Overall, the grapes were richly structured and experienced good berry development, showing huge aromatics with nice, dusty tannins.

Winemaker Notes:
The grapes for our 2011 Zinfandel fermented in cone sweep, upright, and rotary fermentors, and maintained a temperature no more than 85°F for six to ten days. In 2011, weadded a roughly five percent Petite Sirah from Lodi after the exceptional growing season. Zinfandel happens to love the unabashed character of American oak. The assertive notes of toasted coconut, vanilla and spice work magic when they're combined with the racy, super-ripe, brambly berry character of Zinfandel. We used this to our advantage by aging more than 70 percent of the blend in new American oak.

Taste Profile:
Our Ghost Pines 2011 Zinfandel blends fruit from Sonoma and San Joaquin counties to accentuate the best ofwhat each county has to offer. This blend opens up with complex aromas of macaroon fresh out of the oven with a coconut cream pie chaser, Szechuan peppercorns in hot oil and berry pie that's interlaced throughout those spices. In the mouth it becomes more about the cardamom. Like that background note in a great cinnamon roll or the undefinable essence of a fine cup of tea, there's a real intrigue to the spice in this wine that leaves a lingering finish.

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Zinfandel, Petite Sirah

67% Sonoma County
33% San Joaquin County