April 16, 2021
By Bruce Neyers
Winemaker Tadeo Borchardt examines the quartz rocks that are a crucial element of the soil at one of the Sierra Foothill vineyards which grow grapes for the Neyers Vista Notre Zinfandel bottling. These hardened rocks were brought to the surface from more than a mile deep when the mountain range was formed thousands of years ago.
We recently learned of this review from James Suckling of our 2019 Vista Notre Zinfandel:
Neyers Vineyards 2019 Zinfandel ‘Vista Notre’
Publication date: March 2, 2021
“A rich, fruity red with lots of dried fruit, including raisins. It’s full and flavorful. Hints of chocolate and nuts at the end. Not over the top. Drink now.” 91 POINTS – James Suckling
This is a wine we produced from grapes grown in three vineyards in the Sierra foothills, from the AVA’s of Borden Ranch, Clement Hills and Mokelumne River. All are in the gently rolling hills, east of Lodi, and are influenced by the wind generated by the ‘Sierra Rotor’ phenomenon, which artificially cools some of these vineyards. The soils are sandy, with clay and quartz, and they are planted to heirloom selections of Zinfandel, so they yield small berries that ripen evenly and can be harvested at lower sugar levels. Past vintages have been bottled with as little as 13.5% alcohol. The 2019 Vista Notre Zinfandel is 14.1% alcohol, low enough that the attractive berry flavors of Zinfandel show at their best. The wine is fermented naturally, with native, wild yeast, then aged for one year in used 60-gallon French oak barrels. It’s bottled without fining or filtration.
Every time I taste a bottle of Zinfandel brimming with that irresistible fruit of fresh blackberry and frais des bois, I’m reminded of my old pal Joe Swan and his annual Cassoulet dinner, at which he’d open a half-dozen or so bottlings of his Zinfandel to see how they were doing. One year, Joe joined us at Chez Panisse for dinner on my birthday. To recognize Joe and his wines, Chefs David Tanis and Jean-Pierre Moullé collaborated to make a special Cassoulet, using a customized, shallow copper pan to maximize the crust surface. As a final touch, they topped it off with shaved white truffle. That dish would go well with this Zinfandel.
Cassoulet, as you’d enjoy it in the south of France, from Narbonne to Toulouse. How could you resist a bottle of hearty Zinfandel with this dish?