Pezzi King Vineyards
2009 Serracino Vineyard Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Serracino Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: One Hundred Plus
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Pezzi King, a Wine Spies Operative Favorite, and secure an ample allocation of their limited-production 2009 Serracino Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel. Made from 100+ year old vines, this wine represents the pinnacle of Pezzi King’s winemakeing prowess.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pezzi King Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2009 Serracino Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel
Winemaker: Chris Barrett
Backgrounder: Our Operatives love Pezzi King wines, and today we send Agent Red back to Pezzi to secure a small quantity of their remarkable 2009 Serracino Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel, a single vineyard delight that represent the best that Pezzi has to offer.Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley is a treasure trove of great wines. Arguably, the region is best known for producing some of the finest Zinfandel in the country. Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark magenta with a dark core of deepest garnet. At the edge, a ring of pure, dazzling ruby red encircles the wine. After a hearty swirl, chubby, wine-colored legs crawl slowly down the wall of the glass.
Smell – Ripe blackberry, fused with jammy dark strawberry, blueberry and raspberry lead to dried brown tobacco leaf, supple leather, sweet spice, cigar box, dried fall leaves and a hint of black pepper.
Feel – Cool and lightweight, on entry. Then, the wine becomes quickly grippy and slightly dry as integrated tannins give the wine a wonderfully elegant feel. This crushed velvet dryness spreads from the front of the palate, moving slowly rearward.
Taste – Darkest juicy blackberry, blueberry and dark raspberry take the lead. A moment later, cigar box, dried tobacco leaf, sweet brown spice, leather, dried leaves and black pepper.
Finish – Very long and packed with jammy dark fruit flavors that slowly give way to earthy spice, minerals, black pepper and toasty oak.
Conclusion – We are so pleased to welcome Pezzi King back to The Wine Spies and today’s 2009 Serracino Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel was the best possible wine to do so with. This lovely single vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zin comes from a the finest blocks of 100+ year old vines. Today’s wine represents the best that Pezzi Kings has to offer and, at today’s price, this is one wine that you should not miss out on. We only wish that we could have gotten our hands on more. Elegant, ultra delicious and complex, this wine is equally at home with a fancy meal as it would be with a backyard BBQ. Stock up, dear Operative, this deal will never be available, again.
With harvest looming, Pezzi King’s winemaker was unavailable for an interview, today. For your reading pleasure, please enjoy this prior interview with winemaker, Chris Barrett.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Chris Barrett
AGENT RED: Greetings, Chris. We are thrilled to be showing your Zinfandel today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
CHRIS: Thanks, Red. Great to be back.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
CHRIS: I think it had more to do with growing up in Sonoma County. My Dad has always made wine and it started in the garage with the barest of equipment. It is now a passion we share and always talk about.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
CHRIS: I look up to more of the local winemakers and growers. The ones that have been around and know how to focus on expression.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
CHRIS: I still help my Dad out but my main focus is Pezzi King.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
CHRIS: Getting ready for harvest! This year looks to be the best one in a long time.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
CHRIS: I like wines that stand on their own. To experience the wine with your senses. Smelling before tasting and tasting after swallowing.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
CHRIS: I really want to thank you and for those who get a chance to try this wonderful Chardonnay, Enjoy!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Pezzi King vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Captivating with uplifting aromas of berry pie filling, spicy cinnamon, and nutmeg. The broad shoulders of this wine create the canvas for brown sugar, strawberry, and currant coupled with a defined acidity.
The Serracino Family Vineyard has been a cornerstone of Pezzi King Vineyards Old Vines Zinfandel for many years. In 2009 a small select block of these 100+ year old vines were hand harvested and fermented in an open top tank crafting one of the vineyard’s finest offerings. The third generation of the Serracino family own and farm this 10 acre zinfandel vineyard in northern Dry Creek Valley. The vineyard is composed of gently rolling, well draining soils located on the west bank of Dry Creek.
History of Pezzi King Vineyards:
James P. Rowe, Sr., is passionate about his Italian heritage. His love of agriculture is rooted in the time spent as a child at his grandfather’s Central Valley ranches, while his family ties are expressed in the name he and his late wife Jane gave their vineyard: Pezzi King combines the names of Jim’s and Jane’s mothers, respectively.
The Rowes established Pezzi King Vineyards in 1993, when Jim discovered a beautiful vineyard nestled in the hills of Dry Creek Valley during a weekend visit from San Francisco. Aware of the vineyard’s superior terroir and captivated by the site’s natural beauty, he purchased the 137-acre estate and undertook its beautiful transformation into one of the leading producers of Zinfandel in the acclaimed Dry Creek Valley appellation.
The first step was restoring the vineyard to its natural, unspoiled potential: Jim Rowe, Sr. immediately eliminated all use of chemicals and implemented all-natural farming techniques. His commitment to quality extended to the winery, as well, which they completely renovated with state-of-the-art equipment.
Today, Jim Rowe, Sr. and his wife, Cynthia, run the winery as a collaborative enterprise. Cynthia Rowe is involved with business planning and strategy for Pezzi King Vineyards.
Jim Rowe, Sr. states his mission for Pezzi King Vineyards directly: “I wanted wines that would be considered among the best in the world. To accomplish this, I had to start with an excellent piece of land and add the right mix of talent and hard work. We’re doing that at Pezzi King and we’ll continue to strive for and achieve excellence in everything we do.”
In 2006, Pezzi King Vineyards won 10 Gold and 5 Silver medals in wine competitions and is among one of the highest rated Zinfandel in the world.
About the Winemaker:
Gabriella Gazzano is no stranger to critically acclaimed Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels. She helped craft them for five years at Fritz Winery in Cloverdale, and the opportunity to make wine for one of the region’s most noted Zinfandel producers is one major reason she agreed to become Head Winemaker for Pezzi King Vineyards. “I started my winemaking career experiencing old-vine Zinfandel at Fritz, and I’m really excited to be back in Dry Creek and work with the wonderful fruit that Pezzi King grows and sources,” said Gazzano.
Harvested: September, 2009
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Vineyards: Serracino Vineyard
Barrels: 40% New French, Mercurey, Vernou
Total Acidity: 0.59 gm/100ml
Cases Produced: 190