If vines could talk, the old-vine zinfandel in Ray Teldeschi’s 26-acre vineyard on the east side of Dry Creek Valley could weave quite a tale. Paperwork shows that the bench plot was planted in 1915, but local folklore suggests it dates back farther than that, to the 1880s. Save for annual trimming and thinning, the vines have remained relatively untouched ever since. All the while, the gnarled wonders have sent roots deeper and deeper into the clay soil, building the foundation for longevity.
Ray, who’s almost 70, has farmed the vineyard for the better part of about 65 years—pretty much all his life. His father taught him how to care for old vines, about the perils of frost. The meticulous care of these vines, as passed down through five generations of the Teldeschi family, is evident in the outstanding fruit delivered at harvest.
These days, the Teldeschis set aside for the Krecks the best of the fruit they grow: a few blocks from the 7-acre plot on which all the old vines sit. Clusters from these vines are relatively small; the fruit is dark. The wine, in turn, is light in color but dense in fresh fruit and classic zinfandel spice. Ray likes to say the wine tells the story of grapes that have learned how to “tough out” life over time. That story continues to unfold.
Teldeschi Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel
APPELLATION Dry Creek Valley
HARVEST DATE September 24, 2016
FERMENTATION 25% new French oak for 17 months
BOTTLING DATE April 13, 2018
CASES PRODUCED 45 cases
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE May 2018
Notes of fresh black cherry and raspberry intertwined with vanilla, nutmeg, and cocoa powder dominate on the nose. The body is silky in texture with a round, viscous mouthfeel. Ample acidity bolsters the fruit and body with an elevated finish.
93 points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate