Unquestionably our boldest Zinfandel, the “Tres Viejos” presents hearty aromas of chocolate and sasparilla, fused with a hint of baking spice. The wine’s distinctive Elderberry palate is round and supple with a cola-like mouthfeel accentuated by roasted coffee beans and a peppery tannin. The complex finish boasts intense flavors of ripe blackberry, clove, and candied orange peel.
We began our 2019 harvest before dawn on August 30. After a growing season that started in winter with record rainfall, the year ended with warm, even temperatures throughout summer. With few spikes in heat over the period, our vineyards had optimal conditions to develop full-flavored fruit with remarkable color and balanced acidity. Spring rains ended in time for good fruit set. The temperate summer allowed for long hang times and consistent, even ripening. We picked the majority of our fruit in September and the weather continued to cooperate. Warm breezy days, but fortunately no rain took place in October and the last of the grapes were harvested before the end of the month.
Translated literally, tres viejos means “three old men.” At St. Francis, we use it to describe some of our exceptionally old, head-trained Zinfandel vines. Each year Winemaker Katie Madigan chooses fruit from three distinct regions across Sonoma County for a special blend in honor of these distinctively, noteworthy vines. The Russian River Valley fruit (21%) has bright, fresh acidity. The Sonoma Valley fruit (48%) is both dark and intensely flavored. The Zinfandel from Alexander Valley (31%) is intense and concentrated with wild berry flavors. All vines are over 60 years old and are expressive of their distinct growing regions.
Winemaker Katie Madigan ferments each lot independently in order to allow their unique characteristics to shine. She wants this wine to showcase the heritage of Sonoma County Zinfandel. After 18 months of aging in French oak barrels, 40% new, this proprietary blend is finalized, reflecting the best of the vintage.