Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: **** $$$ St. Francis Pagani Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma, California, 2007

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Initial review, by way of background: This is St. Francis Pagani Vineyard Old Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma, California, 2007, finished at 15.4% alcohol.  Some of these vines date back to original plantings from 1880.  Aging is over a year in new oak.  With the big alcohol, this should be a full-throated wine.  Let's see...

In the glass: Deep magenta, almost opaque in the middle, with showy purple at the fringe.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows bold, sticky blackberry, some bright fruit elements.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, bright, potentially hot with alcohol.    

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweetness plus red fur on the first sip.  A pleasant balance, supported quickly by apparent acidity and  brighter red fruit that I expected.  Alcohol only shows up in the finish, and that is probably exacerbated by the room temperature of this wine.

In summary: Overall, while this is definitely a "big" zin, it is not big in the more classic jammy and deep way.  It is big with its bright, sparkly red fruit, and a lengthy, more prickly, acid-toned finish. Rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, and would be an excellent zinfandel with appropriately "big" meals.  I'm going to experiment with additional decanting and aging with this St. Francis Pagani as well.

Following long decant, six hours in wide-bottomed decanter:  The nose is more shy though better knit together now.  Still furry red bright berries on the palate.  Held up well. 

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