2018 Buchignani Zinfandel

2018 Buchignani Zinfandel

Wine Information

80% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane

95 Points – Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast
94 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
93 Points – Tom Lee, Zinfandel Chronicles
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
91 PointsWine & Spirits




Buchignani Ranch


Alexander Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Elegant nose of raspberry, cranberry, pipe tobacco and wild fennel. Hints of black cherry, sarsaparilla, plum and black tea meet exquisite structure and well-integrated tannins on the palate. SR (11/22)

Vintage Notes

2018 marks the twentieth year that we have made wine from this old vine vineyard. Lower yields meant greater concentration of fruit, color and tannin. To prevent over- extraction, we fermented half the grapes with a submerged cap. Twenty percent carignane brings lively acidity to the ripe zinfandel. This well balanced wine is enjoyable upon release. It will age elegantly over the next eight to nine years. JO (3/20)


This wine comes from a small planting of old-vine zinfandel on the Buchignani Ranch on Dutcher Creek Road in the hills north of Dry Creek Valley (carignane planted on the rest of the ranch provides a separate ATP selection). The zinfandel block, approximately five acres in size, was planted in the 1940s and ’50s on a rocky knoll overlooking the family home.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 25 inches (below normal)
Bloom: May
Weather: Rains were light this year, totalling 25 inches. Rainfall in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.


Harvest Dates: 6 – 11 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.4˚
TA: 5.54 g/L
pH: 3.78
Fermentation: Grapes fermented on the naturally-occuring yeasts. Pressed at ten days. Full malolactic carried out without inoculation.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new, 30% one to two years old, 50% three to four years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested; sustainably farmed, estate-grown grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the indigenous yeast, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 78 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


Wine Enthusiast: 95 Points + Editors’ Choice “Snappy raspberries and plump blueberries come to mind as this fruity, focused and well-balanced wine wakes up the nose and tantalizes the palate. Its vital, lively fruit expression is bolstered by fine tannins, melding with subtle oak spices on the midpalate and lingering finish. Blended with 20% Carignane grapes.” -Jim Gordon (September 2023)

OwenBargreen.com: 94 Points “Coming from this site in the Alexander Valley, the wine has 20% Carignane blended in. It comes off very soft and seamless on the mouth, with red currants, dates, fresh dill and suggestions of red cherry candy on the palate. Finishing long with black fruits and copious minerals, this is beautiful, well-structured Zinfandel to cellar over the next ten plus years. Drink 2023-2033.” -Owen Bargreen (April 2023)

JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “Based on 80% Zinfandel and 20% Carignan, the 2018 Zinfandel Buchignani is a beautiful effort that shows the fresher, focused, vibrant style of the vintage. Fresh red plums, blackberries, candied violets, and peppery herb notes all define the aromatics, and it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a lively, elegant mouthfeel, fine tannins, and a great finish. It’s not a blockbuster, but it shines for its purity, balance, and elegance. It will keep for 10-12 years.” -Jeb Dunnuck (October 2023)

Zinfandel Chronicles: 93 Points “Crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. 80% Zinfandel and 20% Carignane from a vineyard situated in Alexander Valley. Gorgeous nose of red fruit, baking spices and citrus. Medium body with medium acidity. Really elegant with rich, refined fruits. Black cherry, salmonberry, plums and earth on the palate. The finish is long and supple. 2018 was a banner year for Zinfandel and your getting another chance to add more to your cellar. Best over the next 3-4 years.” -Tom Lee (March 2023)

Wine & Spirits: 91 Points “This grows on a steep, rocky slope in the western hills of Alexander Valley, where Stan Buchignani’s family planted zinfandel in the 1940s and ’50s (he also grows old-vine carignane, which accounts for 20 percent of this blend). The wine has the warm spice of fennel seeds, over light flavors of wild strawberries and herbs. Oak tannins give the finish a dark shade, while the fruit feels fully mature.” -J.G. (April 2023)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Food Pairings

See all food pairing recipes we have created specifically for this wine.

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