Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2000
Each harvest we produce several lots of old vine zinfandel from upper Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley's benchlands and Russian River Valley's high plains. These devigorized, low-yielding vines link our family's trade from its very beginnings to today. They personify perseverance, character, and a sense of place.
This is a vintage to remember. A very even growing season (not too hot, not too cold) slowed the rate of maturation and left the fruit hanging until a timely heatspike in late September fully ripened the fruit. Long hang times under favorable climatic conditions are the cornerstones for successful zinfandel production.
Established in 1895, Seghesio Family Vineyards produces benchmark Zinfandels that honor five generations of winegrowing leadership, and share the heart of Sonoma County and our Italian heritage. Seghesio Family Vineyards encompasses more than 300 acres of estate vineyards in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys – that also represent a significant amount of Old Vine plantings that are more than 50 years old and up to 125 years old. With a passionate belief that wine is made in the vineyard, Seghesio Family Vineyards pairs more than a century’s worth of experience in the vineyard with labor-intensive farming techniques that reduce yields, increase quality and ensure wines of outstanding purity and balance. True to the winery’s heritage, Seghesio Family Vineyards is focused mainly on Zinfandel and a handful of Italian varieties. Andy Robinson is the winemaker.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.
Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.
In the Glass
Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.
Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.
Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.