The Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2019 is a blend of 55% estate fruit, from Sonoma Valley, the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, and Dry Creek, along with 45% grapes from long term contracted vineyards. This is Seghesio’s “entry-level” Zinfandel bottling, though it is hard to call any wine that has received 90 points plus eleven years in a row “entry-level’.
The Seghesio started growing Zinfandel grapes in 1895. For many years Zinfandel was not seen as a premium grape and wine; it was often used as Communion wine for the Catholic Church. The Seghesio family was at the forefront in farming their vineyards with the same attention to detail as the high-end Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards.
The Zinfandel grape and wine have been around since the middle 1800s. The resurgence of Zinfandel, the wines we know today, has been relatively recent since the mid-1980s. Before that, there were sweet White Zinfandel and ZInfandel jug wines.
Seghesio did not start producing their wine label until 1983 and became an elite winery until 1995. The family sold their holdings to Crimson Wine Group about 11 years ago, but many family members are still active at the winery and vineyards.
The Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2019 is comprised of over 100 small, separate fermentations. Each lot from these unique growing areas was handled individually to keep their different characteristics intact.
This Zinfandel was fermented with three different techniques. 65% used pump-over fermentation in stainless steel tanks, 24% used open-top fermentation in small tanks, and 10% used stainless steel rotary tank fermentation. The rotary fermentation was a new one for me; it is a new technology that allows the wine to come together quickly.
The Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2019 was aged oak barrel for ten months. 7% of the Zinfandel in new American and 15% in one-year-old American oak barrels. The 78% was aged in neutral French and American oak barrels. Neutral barrels do not impart oak flavors, but wine aged in neutral barrels are different than wine aged in stainless steel tanks.
The Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2019 is a wine that lists $26, but wine sales for the 2021 Holiday Season should see discounts; I found it for $17. The blend is 88% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah (this grape is often paired with ZIn, the two grapes complement each other), 2% mixed red grapes (older vineyards often have a section with grapes that no one can correctly identify, and 1% Alicante Bouschet. The alcohol content is a very Zin-like 14.8%.
The Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2019 Tasting Notes
The color is a shiny see-thru cherry red with black highlights. The nose is red berries, soft chocolate, light herbs mixed with mint, ripe plum, and faint spice. The Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2019 has a firm mouth-feel and a complex array of flavors and textures.
This Zinfandel tastes like black cherry, sharp exotic spice, milk chocolate, red Twizzlers (not sweet), black pepper, and ripe plum. The mid-palate offers tart, ripe cranberry, extracted orange zest, dried strawberry pieces, and tangerine.
Here is a head’s up when you have a full-bodied wine; it may not be enough to pull the cork an hour before serving; pour the wine into your glass 15 minutes before serving to ensure the wine is open and drinking well. This spicy wine can taste “off” if not fully ready.
- The Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2019 is afforable luxury.
- This is a wine that should be on-sale in the coming month for under twenty dollars and it can compare with wines at a much higher price point.
- Seghesio represents a certain style of Zinfandel and is known for an attention to detail that brand wines can rarely match.