Grapes for the Napa Cellars 2015 Zinfandel were hand-selected from vineyards in the warmer areas of Napa Valley, including St. Helena, Yountville, Oak Knoll and Calistoga. Zinfandel grows best in warmer climates; sourcing grapes from these warmer areas results in complex and concentrated fruit. Zinfandel is not nearly as ubiquitous as Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley, and makes up roughly 2% of total acreage.
The 2015 growing season in Napa Valley started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring, which resulted in an early bud break and bloom. Overall, the vintage was defined by lower yields and high quality fruit.
After a three-day cold soak designed to extract color from the skins, the grapes were gently pressed to avoid extracting harsh tannins. Following a 10- to 14-day maceration period, the lots were aged in 34% new French and American oak barrels for 19 months. The partial use of new oak helps preserve the big Zinfandel flavors, while still imparting warm, spicy characteristics to create an elegant and balanced wine.