Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wine Wednesday: 2008 St. Francis Sonoma County "Old Vines" Zinfandel!

Katie Madigan, Winemaker for St. Francis Winery
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting Katie Madigan, newly appointed Sonoma County winemaker for St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. Katie succeeded previous winemakers Tom Mackey and Dennis Borell and joins Artisan Winemaker Heather Munden to complete an all-female winemaking team at the winery - goooo girl power!

Katie majored in Chemistry at UC Santa Barbara and first joined St. Francis as a harvest intern in 2002. When asked how she made the leap from Chemistry to winemaking, the gregarious and quick-witted Madigan replied, "I loved chemistry and then they put me on a tractor and I was golden!" In 2004, she became a full-time lab technician and, following her studies in Enology and Viticulture at UC Davis, she was promoted to Assistant Winemaker in 2006. Since joining the winery she has implemented new techniques including night-picking Chardonnay grapes in order to preserve the fruit's delicate aromas and flavors. Her goal is to, "ensure that our Sonoma County wines express true varietal character and the best attributes of their terroir."

This week's Wine Wednesday recommendation is the 2008 St. Francis Sonoma County Old Vines Zinfandel. Although no legal definition for the term "Old Vines" exists in California, these vines range from 55 to 100 years old and produce low yields of fruit with highly concentrated, intense flavor. The vines, on their original St. George rootstock, are dry farmed and rely entirely on natural rainfall with no additional irrigation in order to produce higher quality fruit. This delightful Zin has oodles of ripe, black fruit, cassis, pepper and spice with a long luscious finish. It is well balanced with just the right amount of tannin and represents a fabulous value for the price. It immediately had me thinking of Summer cookouts and would pair deliciously with grilled meats, burgers or BBQ.

Wine: 2008 St. Francis Sonoma County Old Vines Zinfandel
Grape: 89% Zinfandel, remainder a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Mourvedre Carignane, Syrah & Petite Sirah
Oak: 25% new American oak
Alcohol: 15.5%
MSRP: $20
Best Enjoyed: within 5-8 years
Perfect for: Summer sipping; pairing with burgers, steaks, BBQ and just about anything that comes off the grill!
Where to find it: Total Wine


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