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Precedent Zinfandel "Evangelho" Contra Costa County 2018

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Old vine, single-vineyard field blend from Contra Costa County in Napa Valley, Precedent Zinfandel Evangelho is 90% Zinfandel and a really elegant claret-style Zinfandel packed with complex fruit flavours

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Wine Style

Red Wine, Smooth Elegant Red

Grape Variety

Zinfandel / Primitivo

Wine Region

Napa Valley










Vegan, Sustainable



Drink By



Precedent Zinfandel “Evangelho” Contra Costa County 2018 really is an “OMG” wine, one of those wines that you know is fabulous the minute you smell it. Fruit and floral aromas rise out of the glass as soon as the wine is poured. The flavours do not disappoint and include blackberries, blackcurrants with hints of cranberry, red plums and chocolate, a touch of marzipan, pepper and spices such as cinnamon and cloves. I realise that this makes Precedent Evangelho Zinfandel sound like a BIG wine but in fact it is both elegant and complex, the complexity partly from the co-fermentation of the grapes. This wine is in fact a field blend as the Zinfandel vines are inter-planted with smaller amounts of Carignan, Mataro or Mourvèdre, Palomino, Muscat, Chasselas and, according to Nathan, “other varieties as of yet un-identified”. It is therefore an approximate blend – 90% Zinfandel and the rest a mix of Palomino, Muscat, Mataro, Carignan and more. This is a really special wine, to be savoured.


Nathan Kandler’s day job is winemaker at the Thomas Fogarty winery but he somehow found the time to set up his own independent label, Precedent, in order to make wines like Precedent Zinfandel “Evangelho” Contra Costa County 2018 from specially selected sites in California’s lesser known areas like the Evangelho vineyard in Contra Costa County. This AVA in California does not have the kudos of Napa Valley or Sonoma which is a shame because Contra Costa County has some 100+ year-old Zinfandel, Mourvèdre and Carignan. Why do old vines matter, you might ask…? Well, old vines produce fewer, smaller but richer grapes that ripen earlier. This enables harvest before the flavours have turned to jammy fruit, the acidity has fallen too low and the alcohol is too high as can be the case with some Californian wines. You can read more about this in my old vines blogpost. Nathan grows sustainably and the combination of some of the oldest vines in California, sandy, well-drained soils, traditional and natural techniques in the vineyard and cellar, native yeasts, minimal use of sulphur and just a gentle touch of well seasoned French oak lead to concentrated, complex wines with a bit of backbone, heaps of (non-jammy) fruit and a silky smooth texture, just like Precedent Zinfandel “Evangelho” Contra Costa County 2018.


How to Enjoy this Wine

This wine is very food friendly and will particularly suit steak, barbecued meat including ribs, venison, roast chicken and spicy dishes – hot sauces such as Arrabbiata, spicy Asian and Mexican dishes – and rich sauces such as Bolognaise.


Serve at: 15 – 17°C


92 points – Wine & Spirit Mag
“Nathan Kandler, the winemaker at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains, makes this wine under his own label, where he focuses on out-of-the-way fruit sources. This is a claret style zin, elegant and finely wrought, with scents of grilled figs, blackberry compote and a woodsy savor. The wine is concentrated, packed with fruit, the power in the texture leavened by burnished, briary tannins.”

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