As the Besson’s Zinfandel, tucked up right against the leeward side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, approaches its 100th vintage, in 2017 we got a break from the challenges of the drought years. Thanks to a long, wet winter, and with some Edward Scissorhanded canopy management, the zinfandel again escaped many of the challenges of prior vintages. Its unusually cool location, on decomposed granite and clay soils and moderated by nightly visitation of fog from Monterey Bay through the Hecker Pass Gap, allows for the possibility of making zinfandel that retains vivacity and freshness. While this cool site presents viticultural challenges given the variety’s infernally tight clusters, thin skin, and proclivity to bunch rot, botrytis, and uneven ripening, under the vigilant eye of the Besson family for the past 94 years, it proves worth the effort. In its purity and freshness and juvenile excitement, it is self-evidently California Zinfandel – bright, briary and sappy – though with a quality approaching restraint which we hope is a hallmark of our marque.