Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 1996
St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel 1996
(search item no. 476)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

St. Francis released its first Old Vine Zinfandel in 1990. The grapes were from a 75 year old vineyard in Sonoma County. Since that first release, St. Francis has added numerous small old vine vineyards to our Zinfandel family. All the vines are at least 50 years old and many are 80 to 100 years of age. All the vineyards are located in Sonoma County. Among these turn of the century Zinfandel vineyards are Petit Syrah and Alicante Bouchet vines which add to color and texture of the "field blend" wine. Due to the prodigious age of the vines, the different microclimates and dry farming, these parcels yield as little as one and not more than four tons per acre of exceptionally concentrated grapes. Harvest is timed so that when the grapes are picked, some of the clusters have become raisins, resulting in intensified varietal flavors.

The grapes are hand harvested and crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Fermentation lasts 12 to 18 days. The different lots are then racked into new American oak barrels, for an aging period of 12 to 15 months. The wine is assembled without fining or filtration, bottled and held for four to eight months prior to release.

My Notes:

Additional wines from St. Francis Winery:

About St. Francis Winery:

For more than four decades, the wines of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards have reflected the finest mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County. Our founder, Joe Martin, fell in love with Sonoma Valley and established St. Francis Vineyard in 1971, planting 22 acres of Chardonnay and the first 60 acres of Merlot in Sonoma Valley. After achieving great success as a grower, Joe opened his own winery in 1979 with his business partner Lloyd Canton.

Today, a new generation of winemakers, Katie Madigan and Chris Louton, continues our long tradition of luscious, elegant, fruit-driven wines from Sonoma County grapes. We farm more than 400 acres of Certified Sustainable estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley, each with varying compositions of loam, clay and volcanic soils. We also nurture long-term relationships with top Sonoma County grape growers, giving the Winery access to some of the region's most coveted old vines Zinfandel and other varietals from acclaimed vineyards.