Kuleto Estate employs a non-traditional approach to its Zinfandel winemaking. Rather than running fermentation
temperatures up to 90+ degrees, which would extract the harsh seed tannins of Zin along with the raisin or prune
flavors of the ever-present raisins trapped inside of the clusters, a long, cool fermentation is used to extract only
from the freshest of berries. Press wine is rarely included – again to avoid picking up anything other than pure, ripe
fruit flavors. Once the wine is drained from tank, it is aged in 132 gallon ‘puncheons’ rather than 59 gallon barrels to
keep oxidation to a minimum and to lessen the flavor impact of the barrel on the wine.
We in the Napa Valley have suffered an embarrassment of riches in terms of having a string of exceptional vintages
in recent years. Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2015, each has provided near ideal conditions for ripening
fruit perfectly. None, however, stands out in our memory like the 2014. For sheer volume of aroma and flavor in
every variety we grow on the estate, 2014 is extraordinary. Kuleto is one of the most complex and diverse wine producing properties in the world. Located in the volcanic
mountains of eastern Napa, the estate features 761 total acres and 82.9 acres of vines perched along ridges and
clinging to steep hillsides. The soils, exposures, elevation changes and sub-climates are so complex that the property
is delineated into more than 100 micro-blocks. Each of these tiny plots is treated as an individual vineyard with
varieties, clones, rootstocks, density, trellising and farming methods tailored specifically to the site. Produced by
guest winemaker John Clews, this wine shows the clarity and structure typical of its warm climate origins.