93 Insider Points
Gold Medal - 2018 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition
I Know Where My Favorite Zins Come From.
And you guessed it, I LOVE Sonoma Zins. Portalupi has been on my radar for some time, so I was stoked when this bottle of their single-vineyard Marcucci Farms Zin came across my desk. It was everything I hoped for. My friends were equally stoked (as they often are when I bring home awesome bottles), and we were quick to polish this one off on a relaxing Thursday night. And with a recent Gold Medal from the San Francisco Chronicle, this wine is today's hot topic.
Creamy cinnamon and apple with chai tea on the nose. The palate shows ripe plum, black currant, fresh mint and herbs. The finish is mid-length, with star anise coming out on the back end. Let breath about 15 minutes for more chocolatey notes. Try to refrain thyself, this was gone before I knew it.
93 Points - JZ February '18
Russian River Valley, California
Malo-Lactic: 100% • 14 Months in American Oak, 40% new, 30% 1 year, 30% 2 year
$0 SHIPPING Selection (6+/btls)
Ancient vines and Cal-Ital style make this SF Chronicle Gold Medal winner a memorable experience. After Members quickly dispatched with our all-to-limited allocation of Portalupi’s 2014 “Marucci” Zin, we wasted no time pinning down this family-owned winery when securing a palate of their newly released 2015.
Marcucci Farms is home to some the oldest of Zinfandel vines in the world, tended to by the descendants of the original Fava family who moved to the Russian River from Lucca in Italy. The Favas are still evident here, though the land is named after an in law, who is, of course, just as Italian! Marucci vines produce an earthy, blueberry-filled wine that is truly a hidden gem among Zins. After a string of dry, drought years in the region, this vineyard produced a ripe Zin balanced by delicious savory characters. In the words of the Enthusiast: “Sweet berry-cherry flavors meet a fleshy rounded midpalate in this simple and easygoing red...” Drink with pasta, naturally! Free Shipping on 6+ bottles for members only.
Reasons why we love it:
- Six generations of the Fava/Marcucci family have farmed this land in the Russian River Valley. Their land and the grape vines growing there benefit from one of the coolest sites in the Russian River AVA.
- Too early for the wine press to rate the 2015 vintage, but experts say the quality looks to be exceptional across most of California, while the quantity is light, due to significant drought.
- The husband-and-wife team behind this winery are Tim Borges and Jane Portalupi. They chose Portalupi as their estate’s name in honor of Jane’s nonna, Marina Portalupi, who immigrated to California from Piemonte, Italy.
- The 2012 version of this old-vine Zin took home a Double Gold from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and 2014 got 92 points from the Wine Enthusiast.
Integrated moderate tannins coupled with cranberry and raspberry fruit are the hallmark of this wine’s pedigree.
California’s wine industry is historically rooted in the great Italian immigrants who brought with them not only their spirit of living life to its fullest but also the first cuttings that would establish Cal Ital’s wine industry and love for Italian wines. At Portalupi we define “Cal Ital” as a way of living, respecting the Old Traditions merging them into our contemporary lives of today.
The world feels like a better place when you live a “Cal Ital” state of mind. It’s embracing what you have, be happy and proud of who and what you are.
Every day is a celebration of life, taking the time to gather and enjoy the moment with friends and family. The gathering is most often around a big meal and great wine- a natural thing that just happens during the day, fueled around a highly expressive and passionate conversation.
When Tim and I started Portalupi in 2002, we wanted to focus on our Italian roots, bringing forward Italian varietals and the Cal Ital lifestyle. Portalupi believes now more than ever that we need to embrace the virtues of the Cal Ital lifestyle. There is no app for that, it’s time to put the phone down for a moment and be grateful for everything around you.
Uncork alongside pizza with caramelized onions, barbecued meats, and smoked cheeses. This wine begs for tomato sauce based pasta and classic American barbeque.