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The 2018 growing season, which was ZD Wines’ 50th harvest, has been described by many as a “winemaker’s dream.” The rainfall in February provided the vines an excellent start at bud break, which occurred slightly later than normal. Even, predictable weather through the spring and summer allowed for a longer growing season, and as a result, excellent flavor development in the berries.
It was a perfect scenario for Pinot Noir, and the 2018 Founder’s Reserve is a stunning example of what the Carneros appellation can produce in a nearly perfect vintage. This wine was sourced exclusively from ZD’s own organically certified Carneros Estate Vineyard from a small, six-acre block planted to the Hanzell clonal selection. This block has been the core of our Reserve Pinot Noir program, producing small bunches and tiny berries that lead to incredibly complex, concentrated wines. Gentle winemaking practices in the cellar, including hand punchdowns during fermentation, complement the hard work done in the vineyard.
Aged 15 months in French Oak barrels, this wine is showing gorgeous aromas of ripe cherry, rhubarb, and tobacco with subtle hints of vanilla, cedar, and toasted nuts. It is drinking beautifully now with an elegant ruby color and bright acidity, complemented with a velvety, round texture that will develop even more complexity in the years to come. 31 barrels were produced.