2018 Russian River Valley Zinfandel


Since 2014, Jesse and Emma have been on a life long winemaking journey to find exceptionally organically farmed vineyards that play into their goal of making natural wines that speak to sense of place and time.  With over 40 years of organic wine growing and winemaking experience between the two lovers of everything wine, Jesse and Emma had access to a small amount of hillside grown Zinfandel in the Red Hills appellation of Lake County.  While pursuing her biology degree and All-American water polo career at UC San Diego, Emma would travel to Lake County during the summers to work at the Bartlett pear packing sheds alongside her uncle.  Having spent five summers running the pear orchards and vineyards in the early brisk mornings and working along migrant laborers and natives to the area, Emma fell in love with all aspects of operating a ranch.  Eventually it was her uncle that encouraged Emma to work a wine grape harvest, unbeknownst to either of them that it would define the rest of her life.  Coming full circle, nearly 15 years later, Emma returned with Jesse to Lake County to make, SEAWOLF’s 2020 Lady of the Lake Zinfandel; a further step up in quality, without sacrificing any of their traditional winemaking values.  Their commitment to making pure portraits of Zinfandel was recently recognized by Jim Gordon of the Wine Enthusiast. 

94 Seawolf 2020 Lady of the Lake Vineyard Zinfandel (Red Hills). Concentrated,  jammy blackberry and black fig aromas and flavors are especially vivid in this full-bodied, deep and captivating wine. It shows good depth and layering as well as a creamy yet mildly tannic texture that maintains its freshness and charm.


Choice. —J.G.


The 2018 old vine Marcucci Vineyard Zinfandel from the Russian River Valley is nearly fifty-five years old and was planted according to the old Italian Field Blend recipe that includes Zinfandel, Alicante Bouchet, Carignan, Petite Sirah, and some white varieties such as Golden Chasselas! The complexity and intensity were born of the mysteries that occur during co-fermentation. Santa Rosa plum, juicy bramble spice, oil of tangerine peel, with notes of perfumed ripe blackberry lead into round velvet tannins on the finish. Despite its intense energy and approachability, we think this wine will drink beautifully over the next eight plus years. The grapes were harvested by hand starting at 4am before being destemmed and gently added to a one ton fermenter to cold soak for five days with 2 punch downs per day. Primary and secondary fermentations were wild. Once the Primary fermentation started, three punch downs were performed per day. Our Zinfandel was aged for fourteen months in 33% new French medium toast Boutes and Francois Freres barrels on the thick lees. This Zinfandel was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Wine rated 91 points by the Wine Enthusiast: This is a tiny production field blend led by Zin with smaller amounts of Alicante Bouschet, Carignan, Petite Sirah and Golden Chasselas. Cofermented, it was given 14 months in French oak, a minority new. Baked red fruit, spicy cinnamon and sweet oak contribute soft, rounded layers of flavor boosted by underling acidity. VIRGINIE BOONE

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