Purple-hued garnet red in color, the 2012 Swanson Napa Valley Zinfandel has the typical Lazar aromas of warm cherry pie, clove and ripe, black plum. Firm tannins provide ample grip, while flavors of plum and blackberry jam, mocha and sweet oak round out the generous palate. This is our ode to old-school Zin that is certainly ripe, but stops short of giving in to the current fad of overripe, overly-alcoholic Zinfandel. The fact that the vines are at an elevation above the fog line allowed for an early harvest. Expect optimum drinkability from 2015 through at least 2022.
This limited-production, 6-barrel lot of Zinfandel was grown at the very small Lazar vineyard in Wooden Valley, a sub-appellation of Napa Valley. Farmed by Doug Hill, the fruit continues to exhibit remarkably consistent quality each vintage.
2012 was an almost picture-perfect growing season in Napa Valley for all grape varieties. Generous rainfall in March and even temperatures in April and May were ideal for budbreak and bloom in our Zinfandel block at Lazar. Long, warm days and cool, often foggy nights throughout the season led to an early October harvest for this variety. Yield was slightly above normal, and the fruit exhibited bright aromatics and acid balance. Hand-harvested grapes were sorted and processed immediately upon arrival to a single open-top stainless steel tank for cold soaking and fermentation. After a full 20 days of maceration on the skins, the wine was drained warm directly into barrels.