TN- Mirassou 1974 Monterey-Santa Clara Zinfandel

Dinner at Bern’s. Flying solo, so I asked the somm for a recommendation within what I wanted to spend, mentioning Zin as a possibility (I’d gotten a prior recommendation that their old Zins were a sweet spot for value). Did not disappoint.

Remarkable color for its age. Cork in remarkable shape, with a thick layer or tartrate crystals. Nose, tertiary, cigar box, dill, old leather, braised figs, dried flower. Remarkably pure red cherry fruit on the palate, with hints of spices, florals, cracked pepper, and some O2. Bright fruit. Bright acid, fine tannin. Very solid depth and length.

Also had a really nice 2013 Morey Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru BTG.

Love this post, cool stuff!

I was just there a couple weeks ago and had a '75 Mondavi Zin by the glass while I perused the menu. I would have been happy as a clam enjoying a bottle of that Zin. Sounds like you had the same little, under-the-radar thrill.

Robert, Indeed. I think I paid $53 for this- pretty incredible considering the life this wine had and what it delivered. Add in that it was my birth year and that I should be able to sneak this dinner bill on my expense report and it was a winner all around!

Well done Matt!

The Glory of 1974 lives on!

I originally found this old article on the Santa Clara Mirassou vineyard and posted on this WB TN thread…

Oh will you now?!? :wink:

Ok, part of it! :wink:

Matt, I forgot to thank you for sharing your experience with an artifact of a (now-extinct) vineyard site of significant historical and cultural importance!!!

I read Like Modern Edens by Mr Charles Sullivan, a survey of winemaking in the Santa Clara area. It kinda made me sad that a direct link between Europe and California was destroyed. :frowning:
This detail is made perhaps most poignant by the fact that the tombstone of Louis Pellier (whose descendant married a Mirassou) was itself lost for many years.

Here’s a YouTube video (no audio) of “Working the Mirassou Ranch, 1962”, compliments of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara:

In my college days back in 1979 or 1980, I bought a case of the '77 of this wine which came in a wooden case branded with 100th Anniversary IIRC and the bottles each bore a special label marking the occason too. I am pretty sure I paid $100 for the case. I still have one or two bottles in my cellar somewhere. Trouble was that perhaps due to the fancy packaging I foolishly waited ten years or so to start opening them and they had started to go downhill by then. It seems that '77 though a strong vintage in Napa was a bit iffy for Monterrey. Back then, cab and zin from Monterrey if not picked fully ripe under ideal conditions tended to exhibit a distinct green bell pepper/vegetal character and the '77 was cursed with it. All that said, I still have a soft spot for Mirassou all these years later.

Drew, thanks for the info. I knew there was some rich history there, but didn’t have this information.