Origin – Vineyards in Valle de La Grulla and Valle de San Vicente
Winemaker – Gerard Zanzonico (American, Lives in Valle de Guadalupe)
Vineyard locations, elevations and grape varieties:
- Valle de la Grulla - Sandy soil at an elevation of 900 ft – from a small vineyard planted in 2010-2012- (Syrah and Nebbiolo) - 50 hectares. Farmed organic.
- Valle de San Vicente – Small vineyard planted in sandy soil with a and high content of red clay at an elevation of 400 ft – planted in 2010 - (Chardonnay) – 50 hectares. Farmed organic.
- With grapes sourced from premium sites in Valle de la Grulla and Valle de San Vicente, Gerard makes his wines in the winery he also consults for MD Vinos based in the port town of Ensenada.
- Gerard is a legend in the world of wine produced along the West coast of North America, having been the winemaker at prestigious estates such as Chateau Montelena, Staglin, Stonegate, and finally Del Dotto before leaving the high-fluting Napa scene for the tranquility and culture of northern Baja. During his extensive career in Napa, which spanned over 4 decades, Gerard was in the mix during landmark events like the Judgment of Paris (he was working at Chateaux Montelena during the time they won the blind tasting for chardonnay that essentially put wines from the US on the map) and has himself made several wines that garnered perfect scores from the illustrious critic Robert Parker.
- While these are not “natural” wines by standards such as native yeast and no filtration, Gerard describes his winemaking style as hands off and non-interventionalist and gives almost all the credit to the quality of the grapes and the region from which they are sourced. These wines are singular expressions of each varietal unlike any you will find in the Northern Baja currently as Gerard employs very costly (yet high return in terms of quality) techniques like using only free-run juice for the production of his Chardonnay.
- Cutting no corners that would sacrifice expression of place or overall quality, Gerard makes only what he can attend to with the loving care of a patient shepherd, an approach which amounts to around 100 cases each of three monovarietal wines each vintage. These are age-worthy wines built on superb fruit, harvested at the perfect moment, for an exceptionally balanced result.
Total production: 3 wines, 280 cases!
2019 Reserva Chardonnay - Vinos Zanzonico
Tasting Notes and Drinking Window:
A Burgundian approach resulting in a Burgundian style from what many are claiming is the valley most well suited to production of white wines, Valle de San Vicente. A light touch of oak is adroitly folded into the layers of complexity in classic ‘Gerard style’ where, even if one is paying close attention to smells and flavors you can never quite pin down what it is you are experiencing. This is a Chardonnay built on the goal of a very potent and clear expression of place. Objective achieved.
Only 60 cases made
Drinking window - upon release - 10 years
Gerard Zanzonico - American, lives in Valle de Guadalupe
Valle de San Vicente - A small vineyard planted in sandy soil rich in iron and minerals at an elevation of 900 ft. Planted in 2010-2012. All 50 hectares are farmed organic.
Grapes were picked by hand at night to preserve acidity and freshness, whole cluster pressed and fermented in French oak barrels (40% new, 60% second use). They remain in the barrels for a total of 9 months before bottling.
Sulfites: 30 ppm