This is an aromatic Zinfandel, rich and satisfying, with brambly berry, sweet tobacco, and spicy notes of clove and melted black licorice on the nose. Big fruit flavors of wild raspberry, dried cranberry, and toasty spices are juicy and mouth-filling. This lively wine has good structure and a vibrant, clean finish.
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.
Located in the Mayacamas Mountain range, the Montecillo Vineyard sits high on the western slope of the mountains overlooking Sonoma Valley. At 1400 feet elevation, the western exposure provides the heat and sunlight to ripen the Zinfandel vines and the well-drained soil contributes to smaller crops with highly concentrated, full-flavored fruit. The resulting wine is rich and lush.
This vineyard is split into three distinct blocks: Terraces, Head Trained, and Trellised. Each block is fermented independently to showcase the unique characteristics of its micro-climate. Short cold-soaks are used to promote aroma development, followed by an easy slow fermentation to balance out the mouthfeel. The lots are then racked to barrel on their fine lees to undergo malolactic in 40% new French oak. Halfway through aging, the blend is made according to taste and texture that reflects this very special site. The wine is then put back in the barrel to complete 18 months of aging before bottling.