1983 Montelena Estate Zinfandel

The 1983 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel demonstrates the wonderful changes each vintage holds for the wines of different varieties. While many grape varieties are very dependable and sometimes very predictable as well, Napa Zinfandel is one that responds dramatically to the climatic conditions of each vintage year.

Our small Zinfandel acreage (10 acres only) is head pruned and non-irrigated, which gives us smaller berries and a low yield. These vines normally produce a medium, big-body, concentrated fruit, "claret" style Zinfandel, but in 1983, the unusual fall rains had the effect of swelling up the already ripe grapes, which resulted in a lighter style of wine by comparison.

vintage weather

Cool variable. Record winter rains. Crop down 20% from 1982. Cool spring gave way to a heat spell in mid-July that caused damage. Early crush with a moderate sized crop. Good maturity, clean, balanced fruit.

tasting notes

The wine is ruby red in color and has a distinctive spicy, blackberry aroma. Similar fruit flavors are carried in a slightly tannic body with good acidity. Although light in style, the wine is full of pure Zinfandel character and is pleasantly balanced for early consumption.

Harvest Date October 4 to October 15
Sugar At Harvest 21.5ยบ brix
Barrel Aging 12 months
Bottling Date March 1985
Release Date March 1986
Alcohol 13.0%