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. I’ve previously posted on Rafanelli in What’s Your Price for Zin?
I’m a big fan of Zinfandel on uniquely American holidays and celebrations, so this bottle was opened during the Super Bowl.
Gorgeous, jammy aromas of ripe fruit literally explode from the glass. Garnet in color and 14.8% ABV. Red fruits, more red fruits and spice on the nose. Cloves, plums, currants, pepper, cherry, boysenberry and blackberry on the palate. This wine is all about red fruits and spice. Nothing sophisticated or complicated but simply delicious and everything you look in for in Zinfandel. Medium acidity with a healthy dose of tannins. Drink over the next 2-3 years.
My rating: 93 points.
I have read notes of recent vintages having brettanomyces issues. I have not dipped into my stash of 2008-10 bottles, but it’s safe to say the ’05 I tasted tonight does not have any “brett” present.
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.
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