Tom Mackey Cellars
2016 Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Zinfandel •Montecillo & Wild Oak Vineyards
California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Valley
Everyone has heard of St. Francis Winery but only a few Operatives were familiar with Tom Mackey Cellars until we featured their 2016 Sirius Red Blend with a roaring success of an intro last year. Though it remains a good thing for those of us undercover to continue to keep this winery a dirty little secret as the wines are awesome and they make just a few barrels of each of their gems only. While it was their Bordeaux blend that opened our eyes to how exciting these wines are, their Zinfandel here before us is the showstopper. At $20, Zin just does not get better…
Purple-ruby with a vibrant hue radiating the circumference that wraps an opaque core. Smoke, boysenberry jam, plum sauce, with hints of cedar, cocoa, and dried orange peel are all present on the dark nose. Full-bodied on the palate with silky tannins, and elegance complementing the savory Petite & Malbec that define a good 20% of the blend here. Delightfully balanced and long on the finish with built-in age-worthiness, both graceful and complex. This seriously endowed Zinfandel is ideal for a rich feast fireside with a slow-roasted centerpiece and winter spiced veggies.
With accolades galore, a Sonoma Valley Zin this good under $20 is a borderline fantasy, a Zin-lovers dream come true. Starting in the early 1980s as their first winemaker, Tom Mackey, for 3 decades, helped put St. Francis on the map. When Mackey retired from St. Francis, his favorite growers would not stop knocking on his door. We’re grateful to this man in the know of where the top fruit is, once again proving that in the wine business who you know can matter more than what you know. What we know is that at nearly half off, this delightful bargain won’t last.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
Double Gold - SF Chronicle Wine Competition
92 Points - North Coast Wine Challenge - “Zin with a tap-dance of spice. Velvety texture.”
90 Points – Wine Spectator - “Polished and well-structured, featuring expressive raspberry and toasted pepper flavors, with a hint of dill on the finish, revealing refined but zesty tannins. Drink now through 2026.”
Top 100 Wines of 2019 – Sonoma Magazine - “Tom Mackey was the winemaker at St. Francis for 30 years, mentoring Katie Madigan, also a winner in this category, and co-winemaker Chris Louton. After retiring Mackey founded his own brand, with partner Clyde Galantine, focusing on red wines from Sonoma Valley. This one has wonderful acidity and tangy freshness accompanying the raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry aromas and flavors. Balanced and medium-bodied, it finishes with a hint of peppery spice.”
Purple-ruby with a vibrant hue radiating the circumference that wraps an opaque core.
Smoke, boysenberry jam, plum sauce, with hints of cedar, cocoa, and dried orange peel.
Full-bodied with silky tannins, and elegance complementing the savory Petite & Malbec.
Delightfully balanced and long with built-in age-worthiness, both graceful and complex.
Ideal for a rich feast fireside with a slow-roasted centerpiece and winter spiced veggies.
What the Winery Says
- Tom Mackey
- 80% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 5% Malbec
- Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County
- Montecito, Wild Oak & Woolard Vineyards
- 19 months
- 25% new French oak
- 5 barrels