The story of the Deaver Vineyard starts in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush. Italian immigrants brought Zinfandel cuttings from the East Coast and planted vineyards in the Sierra Foothills. The fourteen acre piece of the Deaver family vineyard used to make Terra d’Oro Deaver Vineyard 130+ Year Old Vine Zinfandel was planted in 1881 but that is not the only reason the fruit is singular and exceptional. As vines mature they produce less but more concentrated fruit. The dry farmed vine’s roots continue to grow deeper into the soil as years pass and pull water and nutrients from multiple soil layers. Last but not least the relationship between the Trinchero family of Terra d’Oro and the Deaver family, stemmed in the 1960’s over a passion for Amador Zinfandel, and has since been one of loyalty and mutual respect.
The limited amount of fruit that comes from the vineyard is handled carefully. The fruit is hand picked into small valley bins and driven one mile to the winery to be crushed. Juice is bled from the hopper before crushing.; this reduces the juice to skin ratio in order to get maximum extraction. Dry farmed and old vines tend to use all their energy ripening and can be a little under-nourished when they reach the winery. Yeast needs some of these nutrients to complete fermentation. After decades of working with the Deaver fruit we have isolated certain strains of yeast that can get the job done without much help. After gentle pressing the wine is aged 14 months in a careful selection of French and American cooperage.
The 2011 Terra d’Oro Deaver Zinfandel has a deep garnet color with lifted aromas of dark fruit, clove and spicy oak. The palate is focused with crisp and juicy layers of ripe blackberry, spicy plum and soft chewy tannins. The baked spice components add complexity to this bold wine and support a great balance of power and restraint. For a zesty pairing, serve this wine with a roasted rack of lamb or a juicy ribeye steak.