2009 Z Cuvée Estate Grown and Bottled Santa Ynez Valley
Zaca is a Native American term for our area meaning “restful or peaceful place.” Our vineyards are mostly on elevated mesas or plateaus. Our soils are Chamise Loam which are well-drained soils that developed over gravelly beds of silt and clay, and sandy water-deposited materials. These soils are on dissected high terraces (or mesas) with elevations of 1500 feet above sea level. This high elevation provides cooler nights, which translates into wines retaining their natural acidity. Since 1997, the winery has replanted more than half of its original vines with a high-density planting of new rootstock and clone combinations.
Growing Season and Harvest
It was another cold and dry winter in the Santa Ynez Valley. Spring was mild and long with plenty of cool sunshine to awake the vines. Summer was surprising cool, but we welcomed the usual heat spikes around early September. A threatening storm quickened our pace in mid-October, as we raced Mother Nature. The mild year provided great flavor development without excessive sugar for wines of great balance.
After hand harvesting early in the morning, the grapes were gently de-stemmed, fermented, and then put into French oak barrels where they aged separately for seven months. Once the final blend (or Cuvée) was determined the wine was placed back into barrel for an additional nine months to allow for perfect integration of each component.
We have been producing this unique blend called the Z-Cuvee since 1993. It is inspired by the wines of Côtes du Rhône found in the Southern Rhône Valley of France, where they have been blending these varieties together for centuries to create wines that are greater than the sum of their parts.
Our 2009 Z-Cuvee is an extremely balanced and nuanced Rhône blend. Grenache adds rich raspberry flavors and aromas; Mourvèdre brings notes of blueberry, meat and spice; and Syrah adds flavors of blackberry and lush tannins.
"The best of Zaca Mesa's G-S-Ms, this is based on Grenache and Mourvedre, with a drop of Syrah. It is softly delicious, with cherry pie, mocha and spice flavors, plus a hint of sweet-tasting, toasty oak. Drink now." - S.H 90 points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, February 2013
"Offers a mix of dried dark berry, road tar, graphite and roasted herb. Full-bodied, well-structured and appealing now. Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. Drink now through 2017." - JL 87 points, Wine Spectator, Web only 2012.
Gold Medal - San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2012
Class Champion, Double Gold at the Houston Rodeo Wine Competition 2012
"Cherry, black raspberry and a hint of camphor on the nose. Sappy, gently sweet dark fruit flavors show a jammy quality and are slightly loose on the back. Clings nicely on the finish, with the jammy berry notes repeating. This wine is extremely easy to drink." 88 points, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, November/December 2011
"This estate-grown blend emphasizes grenache (57 percent) in its strawberry brightness. Mourvedre adds a savory, earthy bass note, and a small amount of syrah brings out a sweet plum and berry flavor to balance the finish. There's a fragrant, thyme-like scent along with a red spice, like paprika; both add subtle complexity to the clean fruit of the wine. Delicious with spicy, slow-braised cabrito." 92 points, Best Buy, Wine & Spirits, October 2011
"...the wine is nice and soft, with resolved tannins and plenty of berry, cocoa and spice fruit. Drink it now as a classy everyday version of their Syrahs." 87 points, Editors' Choice, Wine Enthusiast August 2011.