We extolled the virtues of the relatively cool vintage 2018 for producing elegant, streamlined, highly aromatic and complex wines. Those qualities emerge more strongly in Saint Georges Zinfandel than any Birichino confrère. The advertised abv of 13.0% recalls old vine zinfandels from a bygone era. The truth always outs when evaluating the merits of a given site over a period of vintages of varying character. 2017 and 2018 were polar opposites with regard to vintage conditions, though the vineyard produced equally compelling, if completely different wines. The site was first planted on gravelly loam soils by an Italian bootlegger in 1922 in the lee of the Santa Cruz Moun- tains, on the wrong side of the law and the road, and 50’ too low to qualify for what became the Santa Cruz Mountains appella- tion in 1981. Yet the mountain and marine influence of Monterey Bay 12 miles west is undeniable- the acidity is mouthwatering, yet enhanced by a stone fruit spectrum of flavors and alpine herbs overlaid on the brambly sapidity of zinfandel. Farmed continuously from father to son by the Besson family for the past ninety-five years. Native ferment, elevage in neutral barriques and demi-muid. Unfiltered.
Vivid ruby-red. Lively cherry and boysenberry aromas are complemented by suggestions of cola and candied flowers. Allspice and licorice notes emerge with air and carry onto the palate, which features gently sweet red/blue fruit flavors that show fine definition and spicy lift. Displays strong, fruity thrust on the gently tannic finish, which echoes the spicy note.