Gold Medal - 2015 Orange County Wine Society Competition
It is no secret that prohibition very nearly destroyed the wine industry in California, with planted acres in some places not recovering to pre-prohibition levels for seventy years. For this reason it is always exciting to taste a wine from vineyards planted before prohibition. Today’s wine comes from a vineyard that was actually planted in 1920. One wonders what the original growers were thinking, planting just after alcohol had been banned, but whatever their plan, the result is that we have amazing wine coming from vines that are nearly 100 years old.
The 2012 Russian River Valley, Old Vineyard Zinfandel is deep ruby in color, with aromas of mixed berries, vanilla, cherry, and toasty oak on the nose. The palate is lush and ripe, with flavors of blueberry, blackberry, plum, and vanilla. There is just a hint of herb, or perhaps tobacco. Spicy, and with good acid to balance out the considerable richness and extraction. This wine pairs nicely with grilled meats, or even solo by the glass.
Vineyard: Starr Road Vineyard, planted in 1920
Appellation: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Aging: 18 months, new and used America and French Oak.
Production: 450 Cases
The name Rancho San Miguel Winery came about on a sunny July afternoon. As winemakers often do, Gus Gamba and Michael Adair were discussing how the grapes were growing and the progress of the season. Gus asked about the progress of Michael's attempts to find a good name for the winery. Believe it or not, finding a good winery name is pretty difficult. Michael told him that he really wanted to incorporate his family name. Gus then asked Michael what his patron saint was. When he told him St. Michael, they soon remembered that the largest land grant in California was the Rancho San Miguel. That was it. They had just come up with the name of the winery and have been making great wines together ever since.
Learn more at www.rsmwinery.com.