Gold Medal | San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
This elegant wine is complex, with a distinct contrast between its flavors and textures. Rich vanilla bean and compote wafts dominate the nose, while a viscous, textural mouthfeel leaves a lasting impression. The tannins are chocolatey, adding a depth of flavor reminiscent of espresso. The fruit flavors of pomegranate and goji berry give the wine a bright, refreshing quality, while notes of suede leather bring a touch of sophistication to the overall profile. Despite its bold flavors and rich textures, the wine finishes with a clean, refreshing taste that is more gentle than the aroma would suggest. This wine pairs well with various foods or can be enjoyed on its own as a special treat.
The 2020 growing season enjoyed near-perfect growing conditions. With minimal rain this winter, the vines were awakened with ideal moderate spring-time temperatures, which eliminated any frost threat to the developing buds. At most sites, fruit set was during the optimal timeframe due to warm, consistent conditions. Veraison occurred 7-10 days earlier than previous years due to the temperate weather and minimal rain. Moderate daytime temperatures and cool nights throughout the summer months, with a few of the normal short-lived heat spikes, allowed for excellent flavor development. The year saw an early harvest, with 90% of the region’s grapes being picked before the late Fall.
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 (33%) has bright, fresh acidity. The Sonoma Valley fruit (33%) is both dark and intensely flavored. The Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley (33%) 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 20 months of aging in French oak barrels, 40% new, this proprietary blend is finalized, reflecting the best of the vintage.