St. Francis Old Vine Zinfandel Sonoma County 2018

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The Alexander Valley was more of a backwater back in the early 1970s when Joe Martin decided to quit his day job of supplying grapes to some of the biggest names in Napa in order to start his own 100-acre orchard in the Valley.

It seemed like a gamble until Robert Parker, Jr. fell in love with the wines of Alexander Valley and more specifically, St. Francis, raining down successive 92 to 96 point scores – scores rarely seen outside of Napa at the time.

Combine that with Joe Martin’s hospitality focus (St. Francis is a must-visit) and all the sudden, Joe’s vision came to fruition in the form of wine tasting mecca— a world-renowned tasting room known for its unrivaled food and wine pairings.

When I visited a few years back, the pairing I most remember was the Zinfandel and baby back ribs pairing. Ooooowwweeee. I like a saucy rack of ribs as much as the next guy – and the combination of the zesty ribs with a super ripe, jammy and intricate old-vine Zinfandel was a memorable pairing that hit all the right chords.


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91 Points (Smart Buy), Wine Spectator
Jammy and bold, with ripe raspberry, toasty spice and smoky fennel accents that finish on a zippy note. Drink now through 2028.

91 Points (Smart Buy), Wine Spectator

 St. Francis 2018 Old Vines Zinfandel is a knockout- just as big, jammy and charismatic as my pairing at the winery those years ago. My favorite part about it might be the hint of spiciness I get from the wine, it adds depth and character. Wine Spectator got to this one already, naming it a ‘Smart Buy’ designate in their 91-point review. That’s okay, I still managed to snag 20 cases from my old friends.

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