Seghesio Venom Sangiovese 2001
Growing and producing world-class Sangiovese is not for the faint of heart. Rattlesnakes, thistle and America’s most unique clone of Sangiovese are all that thrive atop Rattlesnake Hill on our Home Ranch. The 40% slope, shallow topsoil and virtually impenetrable volcanic shale are the perfect antidote for taming this vigorous varietal into producing intensely flavored grapes. The clone, planted in 1910 by Edoardo Seghesio in America’s oldest Sangiovese vineyard, produces small-berried, loosely formed clusters. This wine is 100% Sangiovese from Rattlesnake Hill on our Home Ranch estate in Alexander Valley.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Absolutely the best Sangiovese Seghesio can make, from steep, low-yielding hillside vineyards. Dense and concentrated, a wine that impresses the palate with the intensity of its cherry and spice fruit flavors and rich, complex tannins. Yet it has a light, silky mouthfeel. Addictively good, as near perfect and versatile a dinner wine as you could imagine.
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.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.