2016 J. Rickards '1908 Brignole Vineyard' Old Vines Zinfandel Alexander Valley


Hold the phone. A Zinfandel from vines planted when Teddy Roosevelt was President? Check. Interplanted and co-fermented with Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mataro, and others, just like the old days? Check. Super-ripe olallieberry, red raisin, blackcurrant, and dried cherry fruit? Oh yeah. The old-vine intensity in this Zinfandel must be tasted to be believed, and its floral quality is rare and special when you find it in Zinfandel. The Rickards folks—who sell their Cabernet to Silver Oak, by the way—put it best: “Darn fine barn wine!”

In 1908, the Brignole family, who at the time were members of the Asti Italian-Swiss Colony cooperative in Alexander Valley, planted the 4.2 acre block that is now J. Rickards’ Old Vine Zinfandel. According to the winery, “Old vineyards can be challenging to farm. Back in those days, vineyards were planted to be cultivated by horses and mules, so the vines are narrowly spaced, making it difficult to work with our modern-day tractors. Another challenge is that the vineyard is planted on a fairly steep hillside, covered with thin rocky soil, which limits annual yield to only 2 to 3 tons of grapes per acre. But what grapes they are! Fruit of top quality, with intense varietal flavors characteristic of the Alexander Valley, translates into a fantastic wine!”

Blaine Brazil
Alexander Valley
1908 Brignole
Total Varietal Composition %:
80% Zinfandel and the balance Petite Sirah, Carignan, Mataro and Alicante Bouschet with a few other grapes such as Muscant de Canelli and Chasselas also included
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