TN: An old friend I don't see any more

2001 St. Francis Zinfandel Pagani Vineyard Reserve - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley (4/4/2011)
The nose gives this wine away, with its distinct St Francis vanilla oak. Dark, reserved, zinberry fruit, some nice bramble and spice, then a wash of woody oak overwhelms the fruit. What a travesty, to take fruit from perhaps the most famous vineyard in California (in my mind - certainly the most famous Zinfandel vineyard), and obliterate it with oak. This is also under synthetic cork, though that doesn’t seem to have hurt it the way some syn corks have destroyed several wine brands. Still plenty of youth, but then it’s a bit hard to tell where the fruit ends and the oak begins.

St Francis was a winery I cut my teeth on after moving to Northern California, joined their club just to get this wine back in the mid-90s. By this vintage I had dropped out of that club, but bought a couple of these just for old times sake. This is about the last of St Francis in my cellar. (88 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

This sure doesn’t sound like a wine tht you would enjoy but I get the nostalgia aspect to it. Tastes change. I used to like their Cabs a lot, but eventually I went away from the oak.

They do use a very premium fake cork that really does seem to hold up pretty well. Never had a problem with ageing their wines. Had my last 97 a year or so ago with no issues.

There are several vineyards I’d put ahead of Pagani for “most famous” zinfandel vineyard, beginning with Monte Rosso. Now, having dumped all over your parade, I stopped buying St. Francis zinfandels in the mid-nineties for just this very reason. Too much oak, much of it American.

Monte Ross is definitely up there in the first tier. Let’s just say both are among the half-dozen most famous Zin vineyards in the state :slight_smile:
Cheers

Alan - I agree Pagani is truly one of the Grand Cru Sonoma Zin vineyards, of course along with a handful of others we could all name (or have so in a different thread).

Good news is starting in vintage 2010 you’ll be able to get Pagani Ranch Zin from both Bedrock & Carlisle, a couple guys who know a thing or two about how to properly treat good Zin [cheers.gif]

Robert Biale Vineyards will be getting fruit from Pagani this year.