The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2013

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Page 17 of 149

THE MESSAgE Whether THE TASTING PANEL goes to the brand execs or the brands call us, there is an abundance of news to report, from the latest releases to behind-the-scenes experiences with some of the world's most influential importers, winemakers, distillers . . . well, you name it. Brief Encounters We may not have enough pages in each issue to devote as much attention as we would like to each person whose path we cross, but please note that if it's in the publication, we deem it noteworthy —Meridith May, Publisher & Executive Editor Evolution at St. Francis PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG Katie Madigan. L ong known for old-vine Zinfandel and Merlot, Sonoma's St. Francis Winery & Vineyards is rapidly evolving as a new generation of winemakers brings their vision to this tried and true Sonoma brand. During a fireside tasting at the winery's Mission-style tasting room, winemaker Katie Madigan, who is now responsible for making the winery's Sonoma County wines, poured several firsts, including a rosé and Pinot Gris. "I make high-case production wine, but I'm pursuing many smaller projects and interests, like increasing the quality of our old-vine Zinfandel and developing some interesting red blends," said Madigan whose 10 years at St. Francis culminated in her appointment as Sonoma County Winemaker in 2012. Madigan's Rosé, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot created to acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness, sports a lively tension and enough structure to rate a spot on the a new, fivecourse pairing menu created by full-time winery Chef Dave Bush. Madigan's 2011 Chardonnay was delicate and bright with green apple, lemony citrus and just nod of restrained oak. "There's been an evolution in the wine style over the last several years. We've been reverse-engineering the wines and selecting barrels according to the way they work with various sub regions." Given that the winery was originally named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and protector of the natural world, St. Francis fulfilled its namesake this year by receiving full certification for its sustainable vineyard practices and winery operations from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. —Deborah Parker Wong 16  /  the tasting panel  / july 2013 TP0713_001-33.indd 16 6/24/13 5:33 PM

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