Cooler temperatures preserved the Zinfandel's juicy acidity and allowed for the grape tannins to mature on the vine while infusing scents of cracked black pepper and heightening the Zin's briary, spicy essence. Fine, ripe tannins add a velvety richness seldom found in Zinfandel. Elegant richness, a broad mouth feel and a lingering minerality elicit typicity and point to superior grape growing. Savory purity of fruit with both aromas and flavors of blueberry and cherry - delicious!
"Jam-packed with ripe cherry and boysenberry fruit and backed up with juicy, zesty flavors and notes of spice, star anise and toasty oak. Has a backbone of ripe tannins. Drink now through 2010." Wine Spectator
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Established in 1895, when Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley, Seghesio Family Vineyards produces wines that honor the history of Sonoma and the Seghesio family. Seghesio Family Vineyards' 300 acres in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys represent some of the oldest vineyards and proprietary clones. With a passionate belief that wine is made in the vineyard, Seghesio pairs a century of experience on these treasured sites with aggressive farming techniques. True to their oldest plantings, Seghesio concentrates on Zinfandel, Italian varietals and Pinot Noir. Ted Seghesio is the winemaker.
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Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.