Tonti Family Wines
Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA
Every time I open a bottle of Tonti Zinfandel, I'm reminded of how lush and non-jammy a real old vine Zinfandel could and should taste. This one is no exception. I'm also reminded of the history of Zinfandel, a grape Americans thought was our own. It's been grown in California since the 1820's and has long been considered America's Heritage Grape. However, in 2001 DNA fingerprinting revealed Zinfandel originated in Croatia, then Italy under the name Primitivo. Since the Europeans have been growing wine for thousands of years, I guess that makes some sense.
This Zinfandel stands on its own merits with medium purple color and a cacophony of aromas from sweet fruit and violets to smoke and spice. The palate is broad, full bodied and balanced. It has to be to accommodate 15.9% alcohol. Flavors of strawberry, blackberry, tart cherry, clove and cinnamon up front with medium tannins and lingering characteristics of black licorice, smoke and espresso for the finish. Enjoy!
Grapes100% Old Vine Zinfandel
RegionRussian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA
ProductionUnder 800 cases
- Natural yeast fermentation
- Barrel aged in American Oak for 18 months (medium toast)
Tastings.com – 93 Points
Grilled meats and vegetables are a perfect match with Zinfandel. Try Italian sausage, spare ribs, brisket, and hamburgers, especially with barbecue sauce or seasonings like black pepper, basil, thyme, Italian parsley, bay leaf and fennel. Counter intuitively, try pairing with turkey, duck, quail, pheasant, chicken, seafood stews and soups, as well as seared or grilled fish. Zinfandel also works well with Greek and Hispanic cuisines. Hosting a cocktail hour? Enjoy with Parmesan, aged Cheddar, aged Gouda and Asiago.