1999 Montelena Estate Saint Vincent

The Saint Vincent is our Estate Zinfandel. We use only grapes from the Montelena Estate, equal parts Zinfandel and Primitivo, plus a drop or two of low yield Sangiovese grown in a tiny field of solid rock. In 1994 we christened it “Saint Vincent” after St. Vincent of Saragossa, the Patron Saint of Winegrowers.

We make the St. Vincent to be enjoyed for all the right reasons. We all love Zinfandel; it is soft & spicy and very distinctive. And since the Montelena style is all about balanced, refined, elegant and complex wines, we make the St. Vincent the same way. Our field-blend is more classically styled and richly layered than the super-ripe high-alcohol wines masquerading as table wine that are too common these days.

Zinfandel, notorious for uneven ripening in some vintages, did especially well in '99. A cool spring and summer in 1999 produced the second consecutive late vintage. The entire growing season was dominated by cool weather, but the last week of September really warmed up and the fruit attained full ripeness and flavors before picking. The small crop, combined with a long growing season, resulted in a concentrated and complex wine with strong fruit flavors.

vintage weather

Temperate Consistent. Average rainfall, cool spring and summer, excellent October weather. Below average crop size, the fruit attained full ripeness and flavors. Very good fruit chemistry.

tasting notes

The wine has a medium dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is spicy and intense with black plum, blackberry and cola in the complex earthy, brambly Zinfandel character. On the palate, it has a nice silky entry and fairly moderated tannin with good grip and body, displaying nicely that elegant style we get in Calistoga. The flavors are strong Zinfandel black pepper and follow the nose with the blackberry and spicy notes. With its super-spicy flavors, it will complement bolder foods, BBQ burgers, Jamaican jerk chicken…. I am sure you can figure it out. Have fun and enjoy the last vintage of St. Vincent.

Harvest Date Zinfandel Oct. 1; Primitivo Oct. 2; Sangiovese Oct. 1
Sugar At Harvest Zinfandel 25.8º brix; Primitivo 25.2º; Sangiovese 25.3º
Barrel Aging 12 to 16 months
Bottling Date April 2001
Release Date September 2002
Cases Produced 2,300
Alcohol 14.1%