Double Gold Medal | SF Chronicle Wine Competition | January 2018
This is a rich and balanced Zinfandel with warm baking spices on the nose and flavors of raspberry pie, red licorice, and sweet tobacco. The finish is long and smooth with a touch of spice.
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high-quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
The grapes in our Sonoma County “Old Vines” Zinfandel come from vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, and Alexander Valley. Planted 50 to more than 100 years ago, many of these historic vines are planted on St. George rootstock and are head-pruned and dry-farmed, producing low yields of fruit with highly concentrated, intense flavors and aromas.
The grapes are gently de-stemmed and crushed before cold-soaking for three days to extract optimal color and flavor. The fruit is then inoculated with many different yeast strains to build complexity, then fermented in separate lots using a combination of pump-overs and delestage to soften tannins. Secondary malolactic fermentation occurs in French oak barrels. The wine ages in barrel for sixteen months before final blending and bottling.