2010 Arrows of ApolloMead Ranch
The name of the wine refers to the beginning of the Iliad, to the pestilence visited on the Greek troops by an offended Apollo. Many good things eventually came from that plague; we benefitted in an ever so slightly analogous way from a slight wave of rot that swept over this block at Mead Ranch. Red fruit ripened slowly and unevenly in 2010—especially at altitude. Mead Ranch is a beautiful farm established on Atlas Peak soon after the repeal of Prohibition, and is one of the highest vineyards at about 1500 feet. Jane Mead had a small section of Zinfandel under contract to a buyer who wanted a degree of ripeness that 2010 could not offer. As he waited for the grapes to ripen to his specifications, the vineyard was rained on 3 times; by the time that I first saw the fruit, it was early November and Scholium had not brought in any fruit for 3 weeks. We had finihsed our rigorous schedule of full-body punchdowns, and the crew was readying itself for nights of warm and regular sleep—not stomping grapes. Graeme and I visited the vineyard separately and each reached the same decision: we could make good wine from this fruit. It was a noble source and we were fortunate to get a chance to work with. And the little rot that was dotting the vineyard—it was a challenge, not an obstacle. We brought the fruit in, and the hardy troops began stomping 4 times per day again.
We blended a great portion of the wine into our  but nominally NV Gardens of Babylon, for freshness and lightness. The beautiful and expressive Zinfandel did not dominate the wine, but reorganized it around itself. We held out the four best barrels so that we could bottle some of this special wine on its own. It is a pleasure to present a classic zinfandel, evocative of the california winemaking of a couple of generations ago. High altitude, fine drainage, old vines, moderate ripeness—a very traditional recipe.
77 cases produced