Seghesio Sonoma Zins are well priced and ready to drink

May 20, 2013

The angst provided by the news this week, especially Pinocchio and his Carney barker, caused me to sample a lot more vino. Volume drove my buy price down, so those who enjoy wine from the lower end of the price range get a shopping list. Let’s get to it. Last week, I received a nice piece from Snooth on Bedrock Vineyard Zins. Morgan Peterson, who is the son of Joel Peterson, famous Ravenswood proprietor and winemaker, is making these. Using many old vine arbors to gather juice, he has jumped onto the single vineyard branding idea and purchase of juice to get elevated prices for wine that 20 years ago was being bud grafted to old root stock. Zin juice was so plentiful it was being given away for a song. The rise and fall and rise of the Cali Zin market reads like the S&P chart from 1980 to present. Bedrock is trying to sell excellent Zins, but in the high $30 range for 2011s.

Sorry, Morgan, but your idea is played. Nice wine but not worth the price. Papa, the Clines and Seghesio among others are making as good or better wine for a more reasonable price. For those of you who wish to look through the list at As I mention frequently, Snooth is a worthy read most days; the review of these Bedrock Zins is comprehensive and expert. I thought the Monte Rosso was best of flight. Still not worth the price. The beer article on the same page is also a good read. For my money, in addition to the Cline Zins I wrote up last week, Seghesio from Sonoma is equal or better Zin, and their 2011 generic Sonoma is 92 plus 1 price point under $20, a comparable wine at half the price. Truth is, careful shoppers can still locate 90-point Seghesio Family Vineyards Sonoma Zin with four years’ age on it priced under $30 and ready to drink now.

The 2011 Old Vines at $23 is decent, but save the money and increase enjoyment with the blend. The 2011 is blended of fruit from Dry Creek and Alexander Valley, aged for 10 months in 75 percent American and 25 percent French oak barrels. Seghesio's Zin is busty, spicy blackberry and raspberry fruit, with sage notes. It is closed and shows extra acidity because of the cool 2011 vintage (less ripened fruit); it needs at least three years. The 2009 are better, ready and priced around $25. Avoid Orin Swift the Prisoner Napa 2011, which I have recommended in other vintages. Poor QPR For my paisani.

Antonio “Tony Gallons” Galloni has pointed me toward another winner priced right. The guy is a star and I hope striking out on his own helps him along in his stellar career. He wrote (slight edit for brevity), “2010 Barbera d’Alba Pairolero is about tension and inward minerality. Firm, well-integrated tannins and the freshness of a very late harvest mark this vivid, utterly breathtaking Barbera. Cellar the 2010 for a few years, and drink the 2009 earlier.

A pure, crystalline finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.” I located some in N.J. priced under $20. Sadly, due to Delaware’s ridiculous shipping laws, probably written by the large, Dem-donating liquor purveyors with warehouses in Milford, I had to drive up and smuggle it in, wink wink.

Hallo, wei geht’s meine freundens, I’ve been neglecting you but the wait will be worth it, if you search out 2011 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese. At 95 points, it can be found in the low $28 range. Don’t forget, Spatlesen hold in your cellar, so a case purchase may help. The nose has hints of yeastiness and honeysuckle.

On the complex palate, mineral salinity, alkalinity and wet gravel, apple, pear, hints of vanilla and hazelnut. This is a layered lovely, and a writer I admire for his prose, David Schildknecht, described the flavors and texturing as apple strudel with no nuts. Ich kann mir nicht vorstellen.

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