The 2018 vintage in Sonoma is shaping up to be maybe the best vintage ever for Sonoma Zinfandel. The growing season was absolutely perfect. Fewer heat spikes. No fires. Rain was minimal. Harvest was several weeks later than previous vintages and yields were generally higher than normal.
Mike Officer of Carlisle Winery said in his release letter “Not too hot, not too cold, but just right. Another Goldilocks vintage!” Mike is on the record saying this is the best vintage for Sonoma Zinfandel in his 23 years of winemaking. He went further and said it is a step ahead of 2016 due to some moderate rain in early October that allowed the fruit to hang an extra couple weeks. This allowed for “more deeply concentrated fruit aromas and flavors to balance acidities”.
I spoke to Jake Bilbro of Limerick Lane who remarked on the “exceptional balance of the vintage”. He was referring to how well the tannins, acids and fruits played off each other.
In the last few weeks I have had the 2018 Ridge Pagani, 2018 Bucklin Bambino, 2018 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley and 2018 Bedrock Old Vine. Without exception these were the best versions of these wines that I ever recall trying.
I bought heavily in this vintage via mailings list in the last year. As I open some of these wines I find myself reloading if the wines are still available. In fact just yesterday I ordered several more 2018 Bucklin Bambino.
The Zins are exceptional and now more than ever the wineries need our support. Shop accordingly!