The third release of Mortar & Stone is a revelation. Across the Napa Valley, 2016 produced tiny amounts of small grape clusters with highly concentrated flavors. Although yield was down considerably compared to the preceding textbook vintages, fruit quality was swoon worthy, with dense flavors and heightened tannic expression. The Zinfandel from high atop Atlas Peak is robust, showy mountain fruit. Vines in the historic Mountain Peak vineyard produce some of the most impressive berries we’ve seen in this varietal, nicely structured and spicy rather than super jammy. That spice component pairs beautifully with the final vintage of our estate Syrah. Once again, the venerable Palisades Vineyard Petite Sirah completes the blend, lending tannic backbone and deep, black color.
Robert Parker deemed this wine sexy, and we heartily agree. It has a seductive appeal—dark, sultry, moody in the very best ways—with good balance between earthy inputs and luscious fruit notes. The wine also has enormous aging potential. Those who drink it young will want to decant it for a few hours. Putting a few bottles away to revisit in five or ten years will reward those who can wait.