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Seghesio                             www.seghesio.com
                                       700 Grove St., Healdsburg, CA 95448
                                          (707) 433-3579 or (866) 734-4374

Seghesio is another longstanding family operation in the Dry Creek Valley. In addition to growing grapes, they have made wine from their own vineyards for over 100 years. For a long time they made bulk wine from Zinfandel and other varietals, but it wasn't until 1983 that the wines they made were bottled under their own label. Ted Seghesio became the winemaker and improved the quality of their wines over the next ten years. In 1993, the next generation of Seghesios helped Ted, a fourth generation winemaker himself, to continue this trend and limit their production to 30,000 cases of premium wines made only from their estate vineyards. They own vineyards in several differ areas of Sonoma, but their Home Ranch in the Alexander Valley is where they call home. Zinfandel and a few Italian varietals are what go into their best wines from their oldest vineyards.

87  2009  Seghesio  Costiera   Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)  $42

Overall: Deep color with a very ripe nose and slight heat from alcohol. The ripe fruit is balanced by excellent acidity and is very tasty, but could use more distinction and finesse for me.

85  2009  Seghesio  Home Ranch  Barbera (Alexander Valley)  $28

Overall: Shows some of the high acidity typical of Barbera with plumy, ripe fruit, but a little sweet.

88  2008  Seghesio  Cortina  Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley)  $36

Overall: Possesses the ripe cherry fruit that is the signature of their Zins for me. As fruit sweet as this is, it is balanced by acidity. Although, similar to their '08 Rockpile Zin, I find this a little lacking in complexity for a single vineyard Zin. Blame it on the vintage. In spite of this, it's still a solid, enjoyable wine.

90  2005  Seghesio  Old Vine Zinfandel  $46

Overall: A light heavyweight with stewed cherry fruit, cigarbox and some old vines spice and complexity. Well balanced and consistent from start to finish.

89+  2008  Seghesio  San Lorenzo Zinfandel (Alexander Valley)  $60

84% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 1% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Grand Noir  14.8%alc  
Overall: Very deep purple garnet. This shows ripe cherry fruit like the Cortina, but it's more pure and concentrated here. Also some blackberry and a little smoke thrown in. The fruit is so rich and concentrated that I can't tell whether there's more complexity underneath than is evident now. Very enjoyable as is, but could improve in the next few years.

91  2005  Seghesio  Home Ranch  Aglianico (Alexander Valley)  $38

  14.8%alc   629 cases
Overall: Deep garnet, still showing some purple. Shows concentrated blackberry fruit that is drier than the Zins with sulfur and dust components, characteristic of Aglianico. A heavyweight with excellent fruit and acidity and sufficient tannin, more than is apparent in the Zins. Delicious and interesting from start to finish.

90+  2005  Seghesio  Dionigia Home Ranch (Alexander Valley)  $32 (375mL)

33% Petite Sirah, 33% Zinfandel, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon   20% alc
Overall: This has dense, dark berry fruit. A hedonistic version of Vintage Port that is already excellent with interesting cocoa flavors mixed in. Could improve with a few years bottle age.

Final Thoughts: All of these show a ripeness that is the house style. The most successful wines are those that also possess complexity and structure along with the ripe fruit. Their '08 single vineyard Zins tasted here are very good, but not as successful as other vintages. For instance, the '05s above, make a stronger showing. I was also recently impressed by their '06 and '07 Rockpile and '06 Home Ranch Zins. Their entry level, Sonoma County Zinfandel at $25 (not tasted here) has been on a role lately with enough quality in the '07, '08 and '09 vintages to rival many of their single vineyard Zins. I was pleasantly surprised to find an excellent CA version of Aglianico here, a Southern Italian grape that is relatively obscure and the first example I ever tasted from CA. This, the '05 Old Vine Zin and the '05 Dionigia were my favorites tasted here. They also make a Sangiovese from the Home Ranch that I'd like to try in the future. An interesting lineup of very tasty wines.

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