Mission Codename King of the Orchard
“The secret is gorgeous grapes. We have amazing vineyards.” - Antoine Favero, Winemaker
Perhaps the King of vineyard-designate Zinfandel in Sonoma.
Yet another incredible Wine Spies discovery has landed. A crush of thirsty Operatives are about to crush our system with orders, so maybe toss a few in your locker now. Stuck in a Zoom meeting? Handy tip: use https://zoomescaper.com/ to free up some time.
And this isn’t just any Mazzocco, but a RESERVE bottling - one that many people on allocation waiting lists still cannot access. Unless you roll with us. Because we have the shortcut, the backdoor, the insider trade. At HALF price no less! It sure pays to have close friends in the industry.
Serious Zin lovers ADORE Mazzocco. They jump at the chance to score any of the select few small production Reserves in the program, showcasing single-vineyard legends such as Maple, Pony, Florence, and this one - Smith Orchard. Champagne born winemaker Antoine Favero has been at the helm here since 2005, sharpening his reputation on Zinfandel. San Francisco Chronicle raves that “Though big, powerful and uniformly high in alcohol, Favero’s Zins manage to maintain lusciousness and nuance not often found in the varietal.”
Smith Orchard sits alone as the highest elevation site they own and farm, at 2,400 feet overlooking Dry Creek Valley. Stylistically it bridges the gap between the full-throttle Martinelli approach and a more elegant A. Rafanelli. Flowing with torrents of chewy, dark fruit. Brambly blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and plums, with a touch of oak. Like virtually every Zin they make, it earned a Gold at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, while James Suckling loved its “sweet, fleshy and open-knit style”.
Before he retired, Robert Parker endorsed them as “the most impressive group of Mazzocco wines I have seen in some time. Kudos to them.” Wine Spectator had already added their own stamp of approval: “If you’re a hedonist who loves big, jammy Zins, don’t miss the wines from Mazzocco…” they wrote, adding that “these Zinfandels provide solid value.”
Solid value at $54. ABSURD at half that price. Like Pokemon, it’s a “catch ‘em all” type day… don’t let this slip away.
Gold Medal – Sonoma County Harvest Fair
90 Points – James Suckling
“Wild blue fruit and violets on offer here with sweet licorice and leafy nuances, too. The palate has quite sweet, fleshy and open-knit style. Drink now.”
What the Winery Says
2017 Smith Orchard DCV Reserve Zinfandel
- Antoine Favero
- 97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah
- Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
- Smith Orchard
- 2,400 feet above sea level
- Iron-rich alluvial and volcanic composite
- 18 months
- 20% new French oak