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Being guided by the whims of my grandmother and ZD’s co-founder, Rosa Lee, during the last 15 years was a privilege and an adventure. During that time, we produced 29 Rosa Lee designated wines and many fond memories. After losing our matriarch in 2018, we decided to transition the Rosa Lee varietals to permanent offerings. We would lean on the knowledge gained during the production (and consumption) of the Rosa Lee’s Whim wines and pick our favorite red and white to define the program moving forward.
It was a serious challenge to choose which red wine of the Rosa Lee’s Whims was the ultimate fan favorite and therefore would carry on the Rosa Lee designation. Eventually the debate came down to the first two Whims produced in 2004 and 2005, Zinfandel and Petit Verdot. In the end we were unable to deny our reverence of Petit Verdot based on its ability to consistently enhance the complexity of our Cabernet Sauvignon blend during the last 14 years, with its dense and delicious characters. To maintain the fun, unique, and experimental essence of the Rosa Lee wines, we decided to blend two additional varietals with the Petit Verdot. We landed on Malbec because of an excellent experience with it as the 2010 Rosa Lee Whim red. On a gamble we were excited to try Touriga Nacional, which is considered Portugal’s premier variety. The final wine is 76% Petit Verdot, 12% Malbec, and 12% Touriga Nacional, 100% Napa Valley, and 100% organically farmed.
The three wines were fermented independently ensuring optimum ripeness at harvest and proper extraction during fermentation while being punched down by hand three times per day. After pressing, the three distinctly different wines were blended and co-fermented through malolactic fermentation and additional ageing in 35% new American Oak until bottling 14 months later. Dark red in color, powerful aromas of blackberry jam and cherry are met with intriguing spice and floral notes. A rich mouthfeel combined with fresh acidity and silky tannins frame jammy blueberry and red fruit, which are complemented by dried herbs. Only 19 barrels produced.
-Brandon deLeuze, Winemaker/Partner