While his name is indelibly associated with fine California Pinot Noir, Joseph Swan notoriously disliked working with the grape because of its fickle behavior on the vine, preferring instead to make Zinfandel. One of the estate's newest contracts is the with the Bastoni family vineyard, which has been farmed by the Bastonis since 1906. At the northern reaches of Sonoma County, the vineyard produces wines with deep, blue fruit character alongside aromatic cooking spices like cardamom. What's noticeably minimal in the wine is the hallmark white pepper that features prominently in Zinfandels from the more southerly reaches of Russian River Valley. If you're a fan of the elegance of Joseph Swan's Pinot Noirs, you owe it to yourself to experience the subtlety, nuance, and terroir expression they bring to California's oldest-school varietal.
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