Sebastiani Zinfandel 2017
- USA, 750ml
"It's instantly appealing on the nose showing sweet plum, mulberry, vanilla, cedar and cake spice aromas. The palate offers supple mouthfeel and ripe fruit intensity, gorgeously enhanced by velvety texture and polished tannins. Flavoursome, generous and immensely drinkable." Sam Kim
- Winery: Sebastiani
- Varietal: Zinfandel
- Region: Sonoma, CA, USA
- Vintage: 2017
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- Volume: 750ml
- Closure: Cork
Food pairing: Grilled meats & hamburgers; spaghetti Bolognese; pizza; mushrooms & onions; Parmesan
Sonoma County is one of California’s premier growing regions for Zinfandel wine. The majority of the fruit for our 2017 Sonoma County Zinfandel comes from vineyards in Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley which provide plenty of sunshine that this varietal thrives on.
Sebastiani’s first century in Sonoma winemaking began when Samuele Sebastiani emigrated from the Tuscany region of Italy in 1895 and started Sebastiani nine years later. A stonemason by trade, he quarry-mined the Sonoma hills for cobblestones that were used to build the streets of San Francisco. He worked long hours and saved carefully to buy land in Sonoma County, from which he would make wine for the Sonoma community and San Francisco’s restaurants.
The winery was the only one in Sonoma County to continue operations through Prohibition, making a small amount of sacramental and medicinal wines. It has been joked, and perhaps with some grain of truth, that during this time there was a resurgence of people becoming very religious.
Shortly after Samuele’s death in 1944, his son, August, and August’s wife Sylvia purchased the winery from the estate and began the expansion of the facilities and the product line, adding new varietal wines and proprietary blends.
Always sporting his trademark bib overalls, August was recognised as one of America’s most skilled and innovative winemakers of the time. August was also known for his tireless devotion to birds and their preservation – as evidenced by his lifelong support of Ducks Unlimited and his collection of rare doves and black swans. He respected the craftsmen of Sonoma and made use of their skills at the winery; the famous hand-carved Sebastiani barrels, which are still on display at the winery, were completed by Earle Brown in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
When August died in 1980, Sylvia and their children, Sam, Don and Mary Ann, assumed management of the company. Sam stayed until 1986, when he left Sebastiani to start his own winery, south of the city of Sonoma.
The Sebastiani company’s biggest growth spurt came during this time. The family built a large-volume, Central Valley-based portfolio of value brands, collectively called Turner Road Vintners, while continuing to produce its Sebastiani-labeled wines. Production of Turner Road Vintners brands reached 8 million cases a year.
Bill Foley purchased Sebastiani in 2008 and immediately took a number of steps to enhance wine quality and raise the winery’s image. Working closely with winemaker Mark Lyon and the viticultural team, Bill lowered production, restricted yields, acquired more new barrels and winemaking equipment, revamped farming protocols and acquired additional vineyards to guarantee consistent and superior fruit sourcing. Today, the winery is making the finest wines in its long history with emphasis on single-vineyard and sub-appellation wines.
5 Stars & 93/100 Points - Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
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