Their Croix Estate Vineyard is a heritage vineyard site located next door to the Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard and across the drive from the Chelli and Belloni Vineyards. South of the Russian River near Forestville, the Laguna Ridge sub-region overlooks the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Pioneering winemaker Joseph Swan was the first to plant Pinot here. Goldridge and Altamont soils meet hot days and cool, foggy nights to create lush, high-quality Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels with enough tannins to provide structure for ageing.
Planted in 1904, the original vineyard comprised of 39 acres planted in sections to Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Petite Sirah, and Mataro. Original owners Dina Arata, Ruth Carli, and Lilli Marsh farmed the vineyards up until 1946 when the vineyard was sold to Cattabriga Gaetano who renamed the contiguous property, Cattabriga Gaetano Estate. Cattabriga had three daughters, Augusta, Josephine, and Inez. In addition to the original estate farmhouse (now Croix Estate’s farmhouse), two homes
were built where Inez (now the Belloni Vineyard) and Augusta (now the Chelli Vineyard) lived with their families. In 1973 the land was parceled and sold into three sections: Robert Rue Vineyard, Belloni Vineyard, and Chelli vineyard, all bearing the new owners’ names respectively. In 2016, Kirk Venge, reowned winemaker, purchased the 10-acre Robert Rue Vineyard section, which consisted of 90% Zinfandel and 10% Alicante Bouchet. This is Kirk's latest project.
Their estate vineyard is dry farmed on low pH/fertility sandy loam soils, set in a temperate growing environment where cool, foggy mornings give way to warm summer days, producing bold and powerful results. Old vine Zinfandel and Alicante Bouchet on these soils produces smaller cluster sets, naturally reducing yields and concentrating delicious goodness. The impact of Alicante Bouchet on the wine shows in color concentration and perfumed aromatics.
This sexy, ripe and jammy Zinfandel opens with lively aromatics of boysenberry, blueberry, black cherry, and lavender catch curiosity immediately. The wine’s hue sheets the glass with jet black ink, indicative of Alicante Bouchet’s influence on the concentration of color. The mouthfeel is a viscous, luscious harmony of star anise, black plum, blackberries, and savory sweet bliss.
METHOD | Pellenc Sorting & Destemming, Via Gravity Flow to Stainless Fermenters
UTILIZING Utilizing 100% Native Yeast Primary and Secondary Fermentations.
AGING REGIMEN | 50% New French Oak
AGING | 16 Months | 15 Barrels