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2012 Joseph Swan Zinfandel Mancini Ranch Vineyard – Bottle Notes

In 1967 Joseph Swan purchased a small farm on Laguna Road near the town of Forestville in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. The property consisted of 13 acres of old Zinfandel vines, fruit trees and pasture along with several structures including an old barn and a nearly 100 year old house. In 1968 Joe made wine from the few remaining Zinfandel vines. Joe passed away in 1989 The winery is currently owned and operated by Rod and Lynn Berglund. The winery makes a wide array of wine but is perhaps best known for it’s Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

The Mancini Ranch was planted in 1922. Mancini is on the eastern side of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. The 16 acre vineyard is head-trained, dry- farmed, and consists of mostly Zinfandel vines, although it is interplanted with an unusual mix of at least 20 different varieties. There are also two distinct sections of the vineyard, the North-West corner consists of mostly Carignan, while the South-East corner contains mostly white varieties (Muscadelle, Palomino, French Colombard, and others).

Light crimson in color. 12.9% ABV. Pretty nose of red and black fruits, cocoa powder and flowers. Medium body with medium acidity. Elegant, Claret style Zinfandel. Black cherry, strawberry and plums on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Easy to drink but slightly underwhelming compared to previous vintages. Best over the next few years.

My rating: 88 points.

The wines of Joseph Swan Vineyards are well made and fairly priced. The winery is worth a visit when you are next in the area.

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