John Tyler Wines | Bacigalupi Vineyards2003 Zinfandel , Bacigalupi Vineyard
(Russian River Valley)
The old terroirists used to say that wine is made in the vineyard, and, while that is less true today than ever before, vineyard pedigree is still a good indicator of what to expect in the wine. In Sonoma County the Bacigalupi Vineyards name has considerable provenance, not least for having supplied the (Chardonnay) fruit that carried a little upstart winery called Chateau Montelena to victory in the 1976 Paris tasting that was to be the turning point in America’s global wine image.
Over the years, viticultural practice and winemaking styles have evolved. In the new style, winemaker Tyler Heck (speaking of names with provenance in California wine lore!) has fashioned a rich and concentrated Zinfandel from a selection of new and old Zinfandel clones off the Bacigalupi vineyards. The protracted hang-time fruit delivers the usual black cherry and cola flavors in good measure with mouth filling weight and a bit of heat in the mid palate. But from start to finish I picked up a caraway-rye essence that was both unique and irresistible to me. It made this wine a standout in the flight being tasted blind, and I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for interesting diversity to emerge in this era of homogenizing enological practice. (475 cases produced)
Reviewed April 23, 2007 by Roger Dial.
Under various hats (winegrower/maker/negotiant/writer) Roger Dial has been tasting wine professionally for 40 years. He regards varietal and regional diversity as the best virtues of wine, and is ever-suspicious of the quest (by producers and critics, alike) for “universal greatness”. His tasting regime is simple: Is the wine technically sound? Is it interesting? Warning: he’s a sucker for all aromatic varieties.