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.
Crimson in color. 14.7% ABV. Super nose of black and red fruits, licorice and flowers. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Rich and jammy with a great core of sweet fruits. Black cherry, raspberry liqueur, boysenberry and pepper on the palate. The finish is exceptional. Great Zinfandel from one of the top producers in Dry Creek Valley. Is it just me or does Rafanelli still manage to fly under the radar after all these years? The 2012 is Rafanelli at their very best. Drink over the next several years.
My rating: 95 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 2018 Zinfandel will be released this Spring and costs around $45.