St. Francis, Zinfandel, “Old Vines” 2004

by Tim Elliott on January 23, 2007

St. Francis Old Vines Zinfandel

Today is Great Grape Day over at Wine Sediments and they have selected my favorite red variety, Zinfandel, to feature (yea, they also threw a bone to Primitivo, too). So I looked into the ol’ cellar to see what Zin I had on hand that I hadn’t yet blogged and a St. Francis “Old Vines” Zin caught my eye.

St. Francis is an old brand, at least for me, from Sonoma County. When I first got into wine, I used to drink a fair amount of their Zin and Merlot and always found it a good value. Started in the late 1970′s, the winery is named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi and specializes in mostly red wines (they also make a Chardonnay). Unlike some brands, St. Francis takes the “Old Vines” designation seriously with vines at least 50, and sometimes over 100, years of age. The result is a concentrated wine with firm tannins that suggests a year or two in the cellar might be in order.

St. Francis, Zinfandel, “Old Vines”, Sonoma County 2004 ($19) – Dark purple in color with aromas of brambles, pepper and vanilla. Bold and concentrated blackberry, licorice and black pepper flavors finishing with a touch of raison and firm tannins. A very solid Zin at this price point, but the fruit is almost out of balance with the alcohol. Drink over the next year or two.

Synthetic cork closure (easily removed)
15.5% ABV
Score: 89

Buy this wine online

  • http://mikes-wine-blog.blogspot.com/ mra

    I liked this Zin enough to put St. Francis on my list of wineries to visit next time I drive up to Sonoma.
    Mikes Wine Blog

  • Spitfire

    I am crazy about many Zinfandels and will try St Francis this week. But I’m confused by your last comment about the fruit being “out of balance with the alcohol.” With some Zins, the alcohol content is almost distractingly high. Is that what you mean? If so, should we chill it? Also, I’ve found a greater range of flavor and alcohol content in this varietal, than any others. I don’t rule out the lower alcohol wines (13.5%) b/c I find many are excellent, smooth, medium bodied wines. They are drinkable alone. I think Zinfandel is a great varietal because of the range mentioned herein.

  • Spitfire

    I am crazy about many Zinfandels and will try St Francis this week. But I’m confused by your last comment about the fruit being “out of balance with the alcohol.” With some Zins, the alcohol content is almost distractingly high. Is that what you mean? If so, should we chill it? Also, I’ve found a greater range of flavor and alcohol content in this varietal, than any others. I don’t rule out the lower alcohol wines (13.5%) b/c I find many are excellent, smooth, medium bodied wines. They are drinkable alone. I think Zinfandel is a great varietal because of the range mentioned herein.

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