Today marks the official release of label #2 from Dave Phinney’s highly anticipated Zinfandel series, 8 Years in the Desert—named after the iconic story of the winemaker’s eight-year hiatus from making Zinfandel. Phinney has a few words to share on his thoughts for the 2018 vintage.
8 Years in the Desert Label 2
Oct 01, 2019
A Note From Dave Phinney
The 2018 vintage marks the third release of our eight-year passion play known as Eight Years in the Desert. As we meander through the coming years and subsequent vintages, the wine, as well as the labels, will continue to evolve. If we do our jobs, the wine should only get better. The labels have a bit more of a pre-ordained nature in that they are all born from the original eight featured in the limited edition and they will release in sequential order with each new vintage.
Some of you know them all, some of you only know label #1. Some will like what comes next, others will hate it. But suffice to say they are all cut from a similar cloth. Much like the wine, the labels are meant to be a complement to the spirit of the project and an example of the continued efforts of all those involved. As in the two previous vintages, the blend is made up of our favorite lots of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Syrah. We taste all of the wines double blind and, over a ten-month period, we slowly begin to assemble the final blend just before the next harvest begins. I am very proud of the 2018 vintage and hope you enjoy it now and for many years to come.
Making the 2018 California Red Wine
Working with Zinfandel requires use of the Goldilocks principle—pick it too early and you end up with a stemmy wine; pick it too late and you risk a stuck fermentation; pick it just right…Well, we what do you think? Zinfandel tends to have more acidity compared to other grapes at the same sugar levels, therefore making it necessary to let them ripen more than usual. As a result, alcohols are rarely seen below 15%—some of ours much higher. Sourced from vineyards of pedigree, such as Monte Rosso, Bismark, Korte and Frei Ranch, the wine exudes the ethos of 8 Years in the Desert: a heart and body of Zinfandel with nuance and complexity from Syrah, Petite Sirah and Grenache.