Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2018 Reichwage Winery Zinfandel Mancini Ranch Vineyard

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The August Zinfandel of the Month is the 2018 Reichwage Winery Zinfandel Mancini Ranch Vineyard.

I chose this wine as the Zinfandel of the month in advance of the release of the 2019 version this fall. Last week I had a chance to tour Mancini Ranch with Max Reichwage and am excited about the direction of the winery.

Reichwage Winery was founded in 2014 by Max Reichwage to fulfill a dream of producing small quantities of classically made Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Max is the owner and winemaker. Before starting the winery Max studied chemistry at the University of Michigan, and viticulture and enology at University California Davis. Reichwage has two estate vineyards in Sonoma County: Twin Hills and Mancini Ranch. The winery recently opened a tasting room in Sebastopol.

Mancini Ranch is situated at the intersection of Piner and Olivet. The vineyard is kitty corner from Papera Ranch and not far from other acclaimed vineyards such as Saitone, Ziegler, Carlisle and Montafi. For me there is no question that the Piner/Olivet area is about as good as it gets for Zinfandel.

Mancini Ranch was planted between 1922 and 1924 by Luca Mancini. The fruit from the 16 acre vineyard goes to Reichwage, Carlisle and Ridge Vineyards. Mancini Ranch is planted to mixed blacks and whites. 21 varieties have been identified from the original planting although most the acreage is dedicated to Zinfandel and Carignane.

Crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. Intriguing nose of red fruits, citrus and anise. Medium body with perfect acidity. Claret style Zinfandel with rustic but concentrated fruit. Tart cherry, cranberry, blood orange and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Unique Zinfandel that is a great reflection of this gem of a vineyard. Best over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 93 points.

Review based on a sample provided by the winery.

This wine is available at the winery for $39 and the 2019 will be released this coming Fall.

There is much to like about Reichwage Winery and I look forward to following this project in the years to come. Readers should strongly consider signing up for the mailing list. On my next visit to Sonoma I also have every intention of visiting the new tasting room.

I previously wrote about Reichwage in A Visit with Max Reichwage at Mancini Ranch Vineyard.

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