My grandfather Samuelle learned winemaking at La Chertosa di Farneta, the twelfth century monastery near Lucca, Italy. There the soils are red, the terrain gently sloping and the growing season warm and temperate. Amador County has all these attributes as well, making it an exceptional choice to recreate the flavors of the old world. This Reserve Amador County Zinfandel offers layers of black cherry, blackberry and vanilla oak. It is a tribute to my good friend, master blender, Fra Paolo of La Chertosa.

I have contracted these vineyards and have been using the same sites (the same vines) every year for some years now. We are striving for consistency of style and hopefully expressing the best characteristics of each vintage. Our winemaking is guided by a stylistic flavor profile that was imbued in me at Sebastiani Winery. We are trying to create wines with an expanse of flavors likened to a symphony where each instrument is part of an orchestrated whole, blending across the palate to create a harmonic of pleasing flavors.

Grapes are sourced from Shake Ridge Ranch Vineyards. In the hills above Sutter Creek this site of several sloping hillside plantings gives me the opportunity to select Zinfandel from three separate locations bringing an inherent expansion of flavors to the wine. (Mendocino, Hearts Desire & Pichetti clones) These are all red-soiled sites which is a trademark of mine in that the red wines produced from these Mediterranean type soils tend to have softer edges and rounder mouth-feel.

This 80% Zinfandel is blended with 17% Primitivo from Shake Ridge as well as 3% Petite Sirah. The Primitivo brings some lively high notes to the more structured Zinfandel and Petite Sirah provides a lovely floral tone to the nose and body.

Wild yeast was used. After fermentation the wine was barreled and stirred with the yeast once a week for seven months.

30% new American Oak and 70% one and two year old barrels completed the barrel array. Barrels are 36 month air dried with toasted heads.

Enjoy this wine now or cellar up to ten years from the vintage date.

Sam J. Sebastiani, Old World Winemaker