Cline's Bridgehead vineyard is named for Bridgehead Road in Oakley, California, to which it runs adjacent. This vineyard consistently produces one of their most individual and refined lots of Zinfandel. Planted by Italian immigrants well before the turn of the century, the vines are head-trained, dry-farmed in sand-soil and engulfed in a unique band of cooling air from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.
Grapes were harvested at high natural sugar levels and treated gently in the cellar to emphasize the explosive fruit characteristics. The fruit was almost entirely de-stemmed and lightly crushed, with a large proportion of whole berries remaining in the must. Fermentation occurred at moderate temperatures in, stainless steel tanks, using a selection of cultured yeast. After 10 days of gentle “pump-overs” and near dryness, we drained and pressed the wine from its skins. The wine was minimally handled before being put down to barrel for 12 months aging in a combination of new and used medium-dark toasted oak before bottling.
The Bridgehead Zinfandel is perpetually the most refined and elegant of the several Zinfandels that they produce. Notes of spice, bright blackberry and toasty vanilla with a fine-grained structure, balanced acids and tannins are prevalent. This wine will age beautifully over the next 5 to 7 years.