2017 Old Vine Zinfandel

Stampede Vineyard, Lodi, CA

  • Producer

    Maître de Chai

  • What we love

    Winemakers Marty Winters and Alex Pitts pick the grapes on the early side, producing Zinfandel of texture and perfumed intensity. The 2017 Stampede Zin is their effort to craft a Zinfandel that is both true-to-place and completely different. That is to say, it is by no means “big” by conventional standards of the varietal, thought its 14.3% abv gives a dense yet svelte feel. Red cherry, boysenberry pie, oak spice and muscular tannin combines with titillating acidity to sharpen the sturdily structured, almost “un-Zinfandel-like” profile. This is quite a serious expression of Zinfandel, demonstrating the heights it can reach when it’s made well.

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About this Wine

Made from un-grafted vines planted in the 1920s. An own-rooted Zinfandel planting in the toe-hills of the Sierra Nevada mountains within Lodi’s Clements Hills AVA produces a Zinfandel with its own unique flavor and style – higher in tannin and acid than what most people expect out of the varietal. 

Appreciation of wine is always a matter of taste; and whether or not you appreciate the brazenly contrarian approach to Zinfandel taken by Winters and Pitts, one can still appreciate the thought process, if not the intentions. Just 8 barrels produced.


  • Technical Data:
  • 100% Zinfandel
  • Alcohol: 14.2%
  • Winemaking: The wine was fermented with native yeast in a mix of open top, whole cluster and barrel fermentations. After 11 months in cask, the wine was bottled with the minimum sulfur addition.
  • Drink now through 2025

Marty Winters & Alex Pitts

Owners + Winemakers

Established in 2012, Maître de Chai is the personal project of Marty Winters and Alex Pitts, who is also the assistant winemaker at Scholium Project. The most exciting part of Alex Pitts and Marty Winter’s project: they not trying to do anything exciting at all. The focus is the classic varieties, without the excesses, without the manipulation. Yes, you can have Zinfandel in California with elegance. All fermentations are carried out by natural yeasts, sulfur is kept to a minimum, and most wines are bottled without fining or filtering.



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