Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until the early 70’s that Alberto’s son, Americo, came out with the present day label and started selling the wine commercially. David and Patty Rafanelli now run the winery and a 4th generation Rafanelli, their daughter Shelly, is the winemaker. The winery is perhaps best known for their Zinfandel but also produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with all the fruit sourced from their vineyard in Dry Creek Valley.
Purple in color. 14.8% ABV. Old world nose of black fruits, leather, graphite and cedar. I’ve seen conflicting reports of brett on the Rafanelli wines from this era and it is ever so discernible in this bottle. Blackberry, black currant, cassis and plums on the palate. The finish is long with silky tannins. Decent Cabernet Sauvignon if you are not overly sensitive to brett. Best over the next several years.
My rating: 90 points.
I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?
Rafanelli is very traditional in how they run the winery. If you want to join the mailing list you need to send them a letter. They do not correspond via email, but will likely answer the phone if you give them a call. The extra effort required to acquire the wine is worth it. The tasting room is open by appointment and is always worth a visit to try the new releases. The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon will be released next Spring and is a bargain under the $60 release price.