Seghesio, from Italy to California with a focus on Zinfandel

Seghesio is a wine producer in northern California, in Healdsburg. The vineyard was established in 1895 by Italian immigrants. The first grapes they planted were zinfandel. It is this grape that has become Seghesio’s signature. In the beginning they did not make wine themselves but sold grapes to other winemakers in California. This was changed in the early 80s when the fourth generation of Seghesio, Ted, began producing wine under his own name. Although for most people they are best known for their zinfandel they also make some wine from classic Italian grapes, such as sangiovese, barbera and aglianico.

In 2011 it was time for a big change. Seghesio became part of the Crimson Wine Group, which is a company that owns a number of small wine producers along the US West Coast. Now the winemaking is under the responsibility of Andy Robinson who has a background as a chemist.

At the Johan Lidby Wine Trade Day, I once again had the opportunity to taste what Seghesio has to offer.

Primitivo (zinfandel) grape skins after pressing

Primitivo (zinfandel) grape skins after pressing, copyright BKWine Photography

First out was Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2016. This is a wine that I think many people recognize as it has been a solid feature on (the Swedish) market for many years. The wine is full-bodied and dark, with a taste of dark berries and hints of raisins. Also slightly burnt notes. For me, this is a clear favourite and one of the best values available at Systembolaget (the Swedish monopoly). I recently tasted a bottle of this wine that has been aged for over ten years. The difference was not great at all compared to the 2016 version, although some notes of maturity had begun to come forward. So it is certainly a wine that can be aged very long without any problems.

The next wine was Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel 2016. Compared to the Sonoma County, this wine is a bit more full-bodied and a bit more elegant. I also thought that the aftertaste was a bit more harmonious and longer. In short, the wine is one notch better and a bit more expensive than the previous one.

We then continued with Seghesio Cortina Zinfandel 2014 which I thought was another step up in quality. Above all, it had better balance and a little hint of salinity. Very nice and delicious wine.

The last wine I tasted was the Seghesio Home Ranch Zinfandel 2013. This wine was yet more full-bodied but without being overly juicy or jammy. The fruit was darker and there were some notes of towards the liquorice. A truly great wine.

Tobias Karlsson writes on BKWine Magazine on wine tastings with wine merchants and importers.

This post is also available in: Swedish


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