Pezzi King Vineyards
2002 Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah Blend
California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Pezzi King Vineyards.
Mission Codename: The Kings Blend
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Pezzi King for another of their great wines
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pezzi King Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah blend
Winemaker: Gabriella Gazzano
Backgrounder: Our Operatives loved the last wine we featured from Pezzi King. Today, we send Agent Red back to procure another of their wines. Read his tasting notes and mission report below, and find why he selected today’s wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark ruby hues, exhibiting a tight and springy with clear-pink edges and thick, ropey legs that speed down the sides of the glass
Smell – Sweet and concentrated aromas of raspberry, blackberry, apricots, white pepper and mild oak
Feel – Light, soft, round and cool at first as the wine slides across your palate, then the wines soft tannins grip the tongue and dry the lips slightly
Taste – Layers of fruit, this wine starts off like a fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon with classic Cab flavors of black currant, cherry, and vanilla, but then the Syrah appears mid-pallate with dark fruit, vanilla, custard, powdered sugar and goji berry
Finish – Full-bodied and robust, the wines flavors linger on and on for a long time
Conclusion – Once again, our Operatives have the opportunity to score big with today’s wine. As a 2002, the wine has enough bottle age to make it a perfect right-now drinker, and I suspect that the wine will continue to improve with age. Personally, I don’t see how the bottles I got for myself will last through the month. This wine is that good.
Maybe I should have dubbed today’s mission The Return of the King as this is the second Pezzi King wines we have featured in as many months.
The Wine Spies are big fans of Pezzi King’s great wine and we are fortunate to be granted access to their private wine archive – where we are able to sample wines and secure small quantities, exclusively for our Operatives.
Today’s wine is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It is interesting to note that the wine embodies the best characteristics of both varietals; the Cab imbues the wine with sweet fruits and soft initial tannins, while the Syrah in the wine provides for a mid-palate boost of darker fruits, vanilla and unique berry flavors – and a more Syrah-like finish of slightly bigger tannins and a hint of oak.
As a 2002 vintage wine, this wine is ready to enjoy now. I don’t think it is peaking, and should be good for a few more years of cellaring. I’ll try to hold on to a few bottles for myself, but doubt I’ll have the willpower.
If you missed the Pezzi King we ran last month, please do not miss out on this one. Of course, if you are a fan of this wine, please leave some for those less fortunate!
The location of the Pezzi King vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
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About This Wine:
A dark ruby, richly concentrated blend of varietals producing a full bodied wine boasting of ripe blackberry, raspberry, white pepper and creamy oak. The entry is warm intense cabernet sauvignon then seamlessly melts into syrah mid palate. The delicate but distinct balance of syrah and cabernet sauvignon harmonizes with sweet tannins and opulent fruit producing a full bodied finish that never seems to end.
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.
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah
Appellation: Sonoma County
Blend: 50% Cab./ 50% Syrah
Barrels: Aged 24 Months in Demptos, Saury, Voges Barrels
Vineyards: Miller, Taylor, Pezzi King Estate
Cases Produced: 500