St. Francis Winery 2008 Pagani Vineyard, Zinfandel

When dreaming about a great Zinfandel one must be thinking about Sonoma County, California. This is the land of the “Old Vine Zinfandel”, where you can find the twisted knurled vines originally planted by early settlers some fifty to 100 years ago. This is what you are tasting when you open a bottle of St Francis 2008 Pagani Vineyard Zinfandel.

Pagani Vineyard is family owned and the vines were planted back in 1880, and are still yielding the intense flavor in your glass today. At the peak of their ripeness, they are handpicked, kept in small batches and pressed, then aged in new oak for well over a year.

This wonderful, Zesty Zinfandel carries the intense flavor of cherry, pomegranate, wild berry, dill and sage, with overtones of black licorice on the nose. This full bodied red stays bright and crisp with every taste, with very firm acidity.

St Francis is located in Santa Rose California, on Pythian Road, in beautiful Sonoma. They have consistently produced high quality varietal wines, gathered from some of the most superior valley and mountain area vineyards. St Francis has the reputation of producing very fruit forward and powerful reds, that showcase the climate and terroir found only in Sonoma. This unique intense flavor is quite evident in all of their great Zinfandels, especially this 2008.

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Here’s a great food pairing for this big red. Recipe will serve a table set for six.

Steak & Cheese Brochette

1 filet mignon steak

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp prime rib seasoning

1 French baguette

2-4 ounces artisanal blue cheese, softened

Season steak with spices. Cover the steak with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Heat grill on HIGH. Heat oven broiler.

Slice the baguette into 1/4″ diagonal slices. Lay bread slices on a baking sheet. Toast bread in the middle of the oven for 2 minutes until lightly toasted.

While toast is warm, smear a teaspoon of softened blue cheese on each toast.

Grill the steak on med-high about 4 minutes on each side. Remove steak from grill and cover with foil for 3-5 minutes.

Cut steak into 1/4″ thick slices to fit onto the toasts. Place a slice of steak on each toast. Serve immediately.



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