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Batch 62-the final batch from the excellent 2017 vintage-is exceptionally smooth, with a ripe raspberry character indicative of Mendocino County’s sun-drenched Zinfandel wines.
MAKER & STORYTELLER
Years ago, when I was just starting out as a winemaker, wine barrels were not widely available and American oak barrels were for whiskey, not wine. But we still needed barrels to age our wine, so we purchased (and neutralized) used bourbon barrels. Today, American and French oak wine barrels are commonplace, so aging 1000 Stories in bourbon barrels is a nod to the way things were. Now, instead of neutralizing the unique nuances of the bourbon barrels, we use them to enhance the complexity of the wine.
1000 Stories is made – like craft spirits and beer – in small lots, each unique and expressive of Winemaker Bob Blue’s interpretation of the fruit, vineyards and barrels whose singular qualities came together to create something new. Each batch offers an opportunity for discovery. Maturing 1000 Stories in new and used bourbon barrels from some of America’s finest bourbon distilleries lends nuance and enhances Zinfandel’s signature red fruit and spice notes. Because Bob knows a balanced wine can only come from a restrained approach to these intensely flavored barrels, he begins the aging process in traditional French and American oak wine barrels before transitioning lots to the bourbon barrels. This small-lot approach, together with insightful sourcing and careful management in the cellar, elicits the polished character, layered flavors and elegantly bold nature 1000 Stories has become known for.
Celebrated for its nuanced expression when grown in California soils, Zinfandel ultimately is a hearty red grape whose structure and flavors successfully stand up to – and riff on – the intensity of bourbon barrels. For 1000 Stories, fruit from heritage Mendocino Zinfandel vines dating to the 1880s is enhanced in the blend by Zinfandel from some of California’s most exciting emerging AVAs for the variety.