Old Vines

I must admit, I’m never quite sure what “old vines” are. I know I’ve seen other bloggers debate this topic quite a bit. In this case the vines are all over 90 years old. (Sometimes I’ve seen “old vine” on 30 year old vines and that doesn’t make me happy, 30 isn’t old!)

Our wine for the evening was a 2004 Old Vine Seghesio Zinfandel. We picked this up on our visit to Seghesio in April, one of our stops along our Sonoma trip. The bottle cost us $33, a bit more than we normally spend, but I really liked this bottle of wine at the tasting. It had a real cork closure and clocked in at 15.3% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found leather, raspberries, spice, and licorice.
In the mouth the wine showed raspberries and blackberries and just a touch of the licorice. Overall the wine was smooth and balanced, though slightly sharp on the finish. It’s drinking fairly well now, not sure if it will smooth out any more.

We drank it on it’s own, but my affinity for Zinfandel is to grill up a nice big steak. This one would have worked well with my steak and jam/wine reduction sauce.

6 Responses

  1. Hi Sonadora,

    I was at a wine class/tasting a couple of weeks ago where I learnt a little on “Vielles Vignes” or old vines.

    Apparently, it’s not regulated so anyone can use the term on their labels and pretty much get away with it.

    Was watching a programme on BBC on Tuesday night (Oz & James’s Big Wine Adventure) where they’re touring around California.

    Many Zinfandel vines are indeed quite old, some over 100 years!

    I’ll try and fish out some Petit Syrah for the 12th!


  2. Hello Sonadora,
    Seghesio makes some great Zinfandels! Also try A. Rafanelli another Dry Creek Valley Great. Nalle is another, and of course Ridge Lytton Springs.
    There are so many great ones these days! I usually draw the Old Vine line at 50 years. It seems though a niche that has drawn many to claim a spot, suddenly everyone has a rare Old Vine Zinfandel these days. Mauritson is another great Zinfandel maker!

  3. Hey Megan

    We just had the 2004 recently as well. It was in one of our shipments from Seghesio. Glad you enjoyed – it made me want to have a Zin tonight.

    See ya

  4. Lar, thanks for visiting and for the info! I hope you find a PS!!

    Wine Limo-We drink quite a bit of the Mauritson wines in our house, and have had the Ridge, haven’t had the Rafanelli though. Thanks for the comment!

    Always glad to inspire John!

  5. Given that Pete Seghesio actually sought regulation for the term Old Vines, buyers can be assured that his OV bottles at least really are from old vines. But indeed, everything else is up for debate.

    And I always wonder if old vines should vary per grape. 30 years on a Cabernet Sauvignon vine is pretty old; 30 years on Zinfandel or Mourvedre is a teenager.

  6. Well, considering that all vines are from cuttings new or old are several hundred years old. However, the in the ground vines are compromised by age and generally yield less fruit as time goes on, but this fruit by it’s lesser yield is usually higher in quality. Old vines are generally considered 50 years old to be classifed as such. Be they Cabernet or Zinfandel! There is as yet no regulation to standardize this and hence Pete is trying to do this because there are so many that are calling vines old vine when they are not even 50years…There needs to be a standard.

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