Tasting : Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2015

Here is another wine to take to Christmas or New Year’s Eve.  It is delicious, widely available, and reasonably priced.  I’m often asked about the wines I bring to events and for this wine I’d share the history of the Seghesio Family and their focus on Zinfandel.

While we tasted the 2015 here, I would encourage you to seek out the 2013.  We recently hosted a food & wine pairing event.  A bottle of 2013 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel was left unopened after the event.  We opened the bottle a few days later and were excited by what we tasted.  We were already familiar with Seghesio and knowing it was widely available, we thought it was perfect for sharing this holiday season.  Unfortunately, we could not find the 2013 locally and I wanted to share the wine before the holidays are over, so here we are with the 2015.  The 2013 is available from KL Wine for $19.99 at www.klwines.com

The Seghesio Family 

The Seghesio Family roots run deep in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County.  They Seghesiohave 122 years and five generations in Sonoma to prove it.  Edoardo Seghesio established the family’s vineyards in 1895, planting the grape we’re tasting today, Zinfandel.  Edoardo came to the US in 1886 from Piedmont, Italy. His family was in the wine business in Italy and he set out to establish himself in the wine business in the US as well.  He obviously succeeded, and the Family’s tale is a true story of immigrants taking risks, working hard, and succeeding in America.   If you enjoy the history of California wine country, checkout the Seghesio Historic Timeline.

A word on Zinfandel 

I seem to run into three wine myths or beliefs on a regular basis from those with a casual interest in wine.

  • The first is the stigma of screw cap wine.  Put a screw cap on it and someone is sure to think less of the wine and less of you for bring it:)  In general, we know screw caps work great and a few disappointments from corked bottles and most people start to understand.
  • The second myth for casual wine drinkers is changing rapidly now.  Rose is finding its way in the US now, but they have long been stereotyped as sweet, lower quality or both.
  • Our final myth, mention Zinfandel to many casual wine drinkers and they immediately picture a bottle of Sutter Home White Zinfandel.  It is only natural.  White Zin ruled the US market during the 1980’s and much of the 1990’s until Chardonnay took the lead in 1998.

We’ll get on the stump for screw caps in another blog and it will be impossible of us to make it through the summer without sharing blogging about rose we are sure to enjoy beside the pool. For now, let’s clarify the difference between Zinfandel and White Zinfandel.  I found it explained well by Ryan’s Wine and Spirts Blog:

There is a world of difference here! Technically, both are made from the Zinfandel varietal. This red grape primarily calls California its home, but can be found in Italy masquerading as “Primitivo”. The Zinfandel grape as a red wine produces high alcohol, jammy, peppery wines, usually from late ripening. The White Zinfandel wine was “discovered” by Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home in the mid-1970’s after a vat of Zinfandel juice was stuck during fermentation. If juice doesn’t ferment all the way, all the sugars aren’t converted into alcohol, therefore leaving sweetness to the wine. He decided to sell this semi-sweet pink wine and coined it “White Zinfandel”!

Wine: Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2015

Price: $18.89 with 6 bottle discount from Total Wine and $19.99 on wwww.klwine.com

Composition: Not sure of the exact %.  It is a Zinfandel with a “small amount” of Petite Sirah added for color enhancement.

Sight: Red with purple notes, somewhat translucent,  stained red legs.

Nose: Red and dark berries, spice

Taste: Youthful and aggressive still, medium + tannins, good acid round out the structure, dark and red fruit, juicy

Overall: This is a plus wine for $20.  It is not at the level of the 2013 that inspired the tasting.  Consider buying 3-4 bottles, trying one now and letting the others sit for two years.  At $20, it is  worth a try.

What the pros say:

90 points Wine Spectator
This is loaded with zesty blackberry and raspberry fruit, offering a vibrant structure and appealing accents of toasted sage, white pepper and licorice. Drink now through 2027. (TF) (3/2017)

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