Old Vines Zinfandel, Giovanetti Vineyard, Russian River Valley (2014)
This vibrantly colored Zinfandel shows off fresh aromas of red berries and a touch of cinnamon followed by flavors of juicy raspberry, cranberry, rhubarb pie and a note of white pepper. It’s bright and refreshing with a smooth, lingering finish.
The historic Giovanetti Vineyard produces one of our most beloved old-vines Zinfandels. Located in the heart of Russian River Valley near Woolsey Road, this small, family-run, 8-acre vineyard was originally planted in Carignane in the late 1800s but was grafted over to Zinfandel and mixed blacks by the Giovanetti family in 1910. Today the vineyard isowned and operated by Phyllis Giovanetti who, at over 80 years old, still does a bit of pruning and oversees a vegetable garden and orchard.
Warm sunny days throughout the spring and summer months set the stage for a spectacular harvest in September 2014. The lack of rain meant that harvest began a little earlier than normal and was short in length, finishing up by the end of October. The temperate days leading up to harvest produced good yields of high quality fruit with concentrated flavors, complex aromatics and excellent structure.
The grapes are hand-sorted and undergo a five-day cold soak before fermentation to extract optimal color and flavor After primary fermentation, the wine is pumped into 100% French oak barrels, where it undergoes natural malolactic fermentation, followed by 14 months of aging before bottling.
Double Gold Medal
California Zinfandel Championship
• 26 ounces bittersweet chocolate
• 2½ tablespoons light corn syrup
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 3½ tablespoons Armagnac
• 1cups unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
Finely chop 17 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate. Place the chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add heavy cream and bring to a boil. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth then whisk in the Armagnac. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (about 15-20 minutes).
Once cooled, place the chocolate mixture in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally until it reaches pudding consistency (about 20 minutes).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill a ¼ inch, plain tip pastry bag with the chocolate mixture and pipe out ¾ inch mounds onto the baking sheet. Once complete, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Fill a medium saucepan of the way with water and bring to a simmer. Place 9 ounces of chocolate in a medium aluminum bowl and place it over the simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
Place cocoa powder in a shallow dish. Using your palms, roll the chocolate mounds into balls one at a time, dip into the melted chocolate coating it completely. Then remove it with a fork, letting excess chocolate drip off and immediately roll in cocoa powder, coating it completely. Place truffle on a baking sheet and allow to cool. Repeat process until all mounds are rolled.
Allow to cool and then enjoy or store in a cool dry place for up to two weeks.
Makes 30 truffles
Recipe created by St. Francis Executive Chef Bryan Jones