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|Appellation/Sub-Region||Dry Creek Valley|
|Grapes||Zinfandel, Petite Sirah|
The Mauritson family has been growing grapes in Sonoma County for six generations, since 1868. S.P. Hallengren, their great-great-great grandfather, pioneered the growing of grapes on the Rockpile ridge - now Rockpile AVA - in 1884 (shipping every bit of his wine back home to Sweden!), but it wasn’t until the year 2000 that brothers Chris and Thomas Mauritson reestablished the family vineyards, laying the foundation for their winemaking today. Winemaker/owner Clay Mauritson took a somewhat circuitous path back to his roots as well, returning home and to winemaking after a football injury at the University of Oregon. After refining his winemaking skills at Kenwood Vineyards, Taft Street Vineyards, and Dry Creek Vineyards, he bottled his first vintage at Mauritson in 1998. This zinfandel (along with a tiny touch of petite sirah) is made from hand harvested fruit that is sustainably farmed on various sites across the Dry Creek Valley AVA. It is spontaneously fermented with ambient yeasts, undergoes malolactic fermentation, and sees 14 months of aging in 100% French oak before bottling without fining. A spicy nose of black cherry, blackcurrant, and espresso yields to a full bodied palate of luscious dark fruit, dried Mission figs, and baking spice, along with herbal and earth tones. Big and bold, its smoky, chocolatey layers lead into a gravelly minerality on the lingering, savory finish.