I visited Healdsburg for the first time some 18 years ago. Seghesio was near the top of my list of wineries to visit. At the time I was working at Bonny Doon Vineyard and became interested in CalItalian varietals. I was also a big fan of Zinfandel, making Seghesio one of my favorite producers in California.
Last year, I was back in Healdsburg and admit that Seghesio wasn’t on my list of places to visit, but we were in the area and I figured it would be fun to go back and see how things had changed. I admit that it had probably been 2 years since I had bought a wine from Seghesio. It’s not that I didn’t like their wines, but they had lost some of their excitement. I also didn’t consider them to be great values, there were a lot of other producers competing for my interest and at some point Seghesio just fell off my radar.
I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but our visit to the tasting room was one of the trip’s many highlights — they were extremely friendly and it did not take much encouragement for them to open some additional wines not listed as being available for tasting. More importantly, I really liked their wines and left with a renewed appreciation of their wines.
One of the wines I purchased was the Seghesio Omaggio. I had tucked this away, but came across it as I was packing up my wines for the move. It is a Sonoma Super Tuscan inspired blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Sangiovese. It is barrel aged for 18 months in French oak (30% new). Omaggio is Italian for homage and the wine is a tribute to Edoardo and Angela Seghesio who planted the family’s first vineyard in America in 1895. The wine was first produced for their Centennial vintage in 1995.
Dark ruby in color. A nose of black fruit, sour cherry, violets and touch of kirsch, chocolate, clove and graphite. Black cherry, black currant and plum with some pine and herbaceous notes on the palate. I liked the body and weight of the wine as well as the dusty and silky tannins. I also was impressed by the mellowness of the Cabernet with the brightness of the Sangiovese. It weighs in at 15% alcohol. More Old World in style than New. Well balanced, lots of nice fruit but doesn’t push things too far and is actually quite elegant. Not the greatest of values, but a very good wine — and I expect that Seghesio will be getting more of my attention. I have not had one of their Zinfandels in a very long time and think it might be time.