Black Sears vineyard lies nestled high among wild oak forests at the very top of Napa valley’s Howell Mountain. Far above the fog-line, at just over 2400 feet, it is the highest vineyard on the mountain.
The fruit sourced from this extraordinary vineyard is both certified organic and cultivated according to Biodynamic principles.The result is one of the most concentrated, spicy, and complex Zinfandels in California.
Gaze first at its deeply purple, slightly opalescent hue. You’ll likely find blackberry-bramble and peppery notes on the nose followed by delicate hints of anise and five-spice. Take a sip for a quick little trip up to the top of Howell mountain with a picnic lunch in tow. There’s plenty of briary black fruit to unpack, all the spices you’d likely admire on a well-seasoned roast, plus forest herbs and an intriguing hint of wild mushrooms.
But perhaps the greatest delight of this remarkable wine is how the flavors remain so immersed within its finely-woven tannin structure, all wrapped up, as it were, in the vinous version of a silk napkin.
In the end, a combination of cultivation and climate, the lofty location of the vineyard site, and the complexity of the mountain soil all combine to set this Zinfandel far above the rest. Like the brisk breeze atop Howell Mountain itself, the fruit’s bright acidity keeps one’s senses stimulated through a long, lingering finish.