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School House Vineyard Mescolanza Zinfandel Blend Spring Mountain District Napa Valley 2018 (Magnum 1.5L)  - First Bottle

Technical Details

  • Blend85% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Syrah and 5% Carignane
  • WinemakerJohn Ganter
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • Sub-RegionNorth Coast
  • AppellationSpring Mountain District
  • VineyardEstate Vineyard
  • Alcohol13.4%

School House Vineyard Mescolanza Zinfandel Blend Spring Mountain District Napa Valley 2018 (Magnum 1.5L)

Zinfandel  |  US

45% off retail!

Highly revered, Napa Valley-legendary, cult-iest of cult producers don’t just come along every day… but we’re sure happy when they do. School House Vineyard is dripping with straight-up cool Napa history – and this 2018 zinfandel blend oozes bright-fruited, full-bodied, perfectly spiced elegance that certainly lives up to the hype surrounding this iconic property.!

“Excessive consumption of this wine may cause Zinfomania.” – a fair warning from vintner/winemaker John Gantner

School House was planted in 1953 and is one of a kind, perched up high on Spring Mountain at about 1,500 feet elevation. Land here could be purchased after the Great Depression for a shock-inducing price of $25 per acre...tops, and that’s just what John Gantner’s father did. For decades, their minuscule production has been made at Pride Mountain Vineyards, a neighbor and personal favorite of your humble scribe. School House wines are incredibly hard to find; retailers get a few bottles here and there, but most of it goes to restaurants and collectors, though even that is few and far between! John Gantner and Nancy Walker preside as the second generation living on the land and carefully dry-farming their vines to intensify the grapes’ characteristics, with an equal passion for communicating the vineyard’s story through their treasured wines.

This field blend combines 85% zinfandel, 10% petite syrah, and 5% carignane, interplanted, picked, and fermented together in open bins, and aged in seasoned barrels to instate a hint of oak. 2018 was a calm growing season across the whole of Napa Valley, with a cool spring, a warm, steady summer with few heat spikes, and short enough bouts of rain in October that producers had their pick (get it?) of when to time their harvests. The quality of grapes has shown to be excellent, with sumptuous body and fresh fruit characteristics, as evidenced in this smashing zin blend.

As for the flavor profile: big, bold, deep, dark, and brooding...but what else would you expect from this blend of sultry, mountain-grown varieties? Buckets of wild, black, and red bramble fruits intermingle with some rustic black plum and hints of cassis, dried violets, and strawberry marmalade. The palate is juicy, soft, and smooth, but nowhere near saccharine, with gripping tannins at the end to draw you in for more. This is a testament to the small, storied producers of Napa Valley – the cult-y names that earned their stripes before cults were even a thing.

PAIRING IDEAS: I’m a sucker for zinfandel and BBQ – so we will promptly be firing up the grill for barbecue pork spare ribs, sticky and caramelized with our favorite link textTexas barbecue “sause”.

About the Producer

During Prohibition followed by the Great Depression, many families moved away and abandoned their vineyards and prune orchards. John Gantner's father purchased the School House Vineyard property of 160 gross acres. Today the second generation, John M. Gantner and Nancy Walker, tackle all of the vineyard operations where they make their home. Their passion for the grapes they nurture coupled with the land is beautifully revealed in the expressions of the wines produced from the vineyard.