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)