Seghesio, Sonoma County Zinfandel 2017
For over a century, the Seghesio family has played an integral role in the history and evolution of viticulture in the region. The winery was established in 1895, when Italian immigrant Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vines in what is now Seghesio’s ‘Home Ranch’ vineyard in Alexander Valley. Edoardo and his wife Angela continued growing vines during the Prohibition years, and were the only winery in the region to survive that era. Seghesio’s reputation for world class Zinfandel was cemented under the guidance of third generation Pete Seghesio and his cousin Ted Seghesio in the 1980s. Owned by Crimson Wine Group since 2011 (who also own Pine Ridge in Napa Valley), today Seghesio remains focused on its family roots, with Ted Seghesio’s nephew Ned Neumiller in charge of viticulture. In recognition of Ned’s meticulous work in the vineyards, he was recently awarded the honour of “Sonoma County's Outstanding Young Person in Agriculture". Winemaker Andy Robinson, who worked alongside Ted in the cellar for almost 20 years, is now Head Winemaker. Italian consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini has also helped improve the quality of the wines, and his influence can be seen in the juicy, approachable style of Zinfandel that has become Seghesio's hallmark. Seghesio owns 120 hectares of sustainably- farmed vineyards across several renowned appellations in Sonoma, including Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. In addition to these outstanding sites, they have long- standing relationships with local growers from both Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Grapes were primarily estate-grown from the Home Ranch, River Road, Lone Oak and San Lorenzo vineyards in Alexander Valley, and the Cortina vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. Careful canopy management was maintained throughout the season. Yield management techniques (including green harvest) were employed to ensure even ripening and to keep crop loads in balance.
The 2017 vintage saw record-setting rainfall through the winter which delayed the growing cycle of the vines. This was followed by a varied spring and summer with late-lifting fog and unusual spikes of heat throughout. A heatwave in autumn set off a hurried picking schedule. It settled to below normal temperatures and harvest continued smoothly until the evening of October 8th when fires picked up in the region. Fortunately, 90% of the grapes had already been harvested at this point, limiting the effects.
The grapes were fermented in a mix of open and closed top fermenters with various forms of cap management. Post- fermentation, the wine was aged for 9 months in 70% American (12% of which was new) and 30% French oak barrels.