90 Points | Wine Spectator | March 2020
Gold Medal | SF Chronicle Wine Competition | Jan 2020
A robust bouquet of boysenberry and mascarpone define the nose of this dense yet silky Zinfandel. Savory pops of cinnamon and sage leaf marry with brighter acidity in the middle palate culminating in a spritely candied-apple accent. The finish is medium to long with a juicier than expected afternote. The acidity is very cleansing on the palate with complexity resonating in the lingering flavors.
The 2017 growing season started with record-breaking rainfall refreshing our vineyards after several dry years. The mild spring led to a timely bud break and good fruit set, followed by cool mornings and warm, sunny days throughout the summer months. Our first grapes of the season were “blessed” on August 25, officially beginning the St. Francis harvest. A few days of intense heat at the beginning of September sped up ripening throughout the region. Well-timed picks throughout the month meant the majority of the fruit was in by the first week of October.
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.
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 to the barrel to complete 18 months of aging before bottling.