Mount Peak Rattlesnake Zinfandel 2020
Rattlesnake Zinfandel is a tribute to the crest called Rattlesnake Hill, the highest point of the Monte Rosso Vineyard. It's famous for the rattlesnakes living among the vines, seeking sunshine by day and coiling around the vines at night. This Zinfandel is bold and boisterous, with intense layers black cherry, raspberry, licorice and Sichuan pepper. Vanilla and graham cracker undertones linger on the long finish – this wine lives up to its name in every way, possessing a power that strikes with intense force.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A full-bodied red with red berry, orange peel and light chocolate character. Full and rich with lots of fruit and firm tannins to balance and frame the wine. Real zin character. Drink.
The Mount Peak Winery story begins more than a century ago at the celebrated Monte Rosso Vineyard, and culminates with the revival of Mount Peak Winery, a vestige of one of California’s ghost wineries. Their wines are inspired by this great place, and they pay tribute to the extraordinary winery that once stood there by capturing its enduring spirit in their wine.
Built in 1886, Mount Peak was a marvel of innovation. The three-story, gravity-flow winery was built from the rocks pulled from the dry-farmed Monte Rosso Vineyard. Though it quickly emerged as one of California’s top ten producers, the start of Prohibition in 1920 forced the winery to shutter its doors. Like many of California’s pioneering wineries, Mount Peak was abandoned to the elements, a true ghost winery to never reopen. For decades the winery lay silent, as wild vines and towering fig trees sought to reclaim it stone by stone.
More than 130 years later, only the ruins of the winery remain, yet the vineyard’s still-thriving vines have persisted – standing above the fog line. The ghost winery and world-class Monte Rosso Vineyard are perched at nearly 1,300 feet along the spine of the Mayacamas Mountains, straddling Napa and Sonoma valleys. Monte Rosso’s steep hillsides, robed in bright red, iron-rich soils, are set against a dramatic backdrop of manzanita and madrone trees under the expanse of a piercing blue sky.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Sonoma County wines are produced with carefully selected grape varieties to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured its title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the state's diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, and it later made its way to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.