2006 Highlands Zinfandel Howell Mountain
A Zinfandel Lover's treat with traditional varietal spice and fruit. An intense ruby wine reminiscent of blue and black berry aromas infused with delicious spice and a hint of persimmon that translates from nose to palate with a gentle full balance that exemplifies this varietal. The exceptional wine pairs well with a traditional preparation of pork or a spicy roasted chicken, as well as with your favorite steaks and grilled meats.
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Wine Philosophy: Highland’s wines confirm that quality wine making starts in the vineyard. Every vintage presents unique opportunities to explore and express the best the fruit and terroir has to offer. To maximize vintage opportunities Highlands focuses on small lot production using inspired and uncompromising winemaking techniques. Bottling wines of intensity and exceptional character demonstrates our commitment to excellence. We at Highlands appreciate your participation in our discriminating enological experience of hand crafted wines.
Vintage Notes: The first day of 2006 brought floods to the Napa Valley and was followed by a long wet winter, modest rains during flowering, a summer with a record setting heat wave, and early rains at harvest. The growing season started nearly 3 weeks late but favorable temperatures through April and May produced rapid vine development with flowering only marginally late. Pollination “shatter” from the late May rain had limited impact. The mild summer was interrupted by a July record setting 10-day heat wave. The winter soaked soils produced an abundant leaf canopy that helped to protect the grapes from heat wave sunburn. Fortunately only limited crop damage required thinning. Harvest started a couple of weeks late with dry moderate temperatures favoring gradual and even ripening. Rain in the first week of October delayed harvest but was followed by beneficial hang time in mild and dry temperatures bringing sugars and acids in good balance. Fortuitous timings and clusters of small berries has allowed Highlands to produce exception wines from the dramatic 2006 vintage.
Cellaring: This wine will be a treat at any time for many years to come.
Fermentation: Small Stainless steel tanks
Aging: 18 months in 33% new French and American Oak barrels.
Blend Varietals: 100% Zinfandel
Blend Appellation: 100% Howell Mountain and Napa Valley
The brilliant nose of blackberry and ripe plum are complemented by hints of oak vanilla, varietal spice, black pepper, and minerals. Vibrant fruit characters fill the front palate and generously give way to full yet soft and supple tannins with an acid balance setting a structured lingering finish.
The fruit came in with an intensity of character that carried through fermentation and into the barrel. Cooperage selection was the key to creating the aging structure this wine deserved.
Food Pairing Notes
This is a wonderful wine to have with your favorite steaks and grilled meats or pasta and tomato-herb based dishes or sharp and aged cheeses.