Hi guys, Jon Campbell- Owner/ Winemaker @leonifarms. I will check in on this periodically tomorrow. Look forward to good discussion. Ive been in the wine business in Amador County and Lodi for some time, working my way up from cellar rat to assistant winemaker in Amador County, my 5 generation home, before graduating to winemaker at a facility in Lodi, and then eventually starting my own company a few years back. I love Italian wines such as Barbera D’ Alba and Barolo, and tend to make my Barbera in that style. I like fruit forward wines with a bit of oak, but don’t like when the oak becomes too overwhelming. I hope you enjoy these, theyre our two most popular varietal wines in the tasting room here in Sutter Creek, CA.
@Leonifarms great to have you on board John! Is your style similar to Scott Harvey’s? I really enjoy his wines. Not a big fan of oak (I’m very sensitive to it) so really curious how pronounced it is and new vs neutral on these bottling.
@losthighwayz it’s not overly packed - I really don’t think oak lends itself to Barbera , a wine that should be bright and fruit forward - and with zin , sometimes oak overpowers the quiet hints of sophistication in the back
Great to see a fellow Amador winery on Casemates. I like both of these wines and have them in my personal cellar. Jon is doing a great job telling the Amador story and it also shows in his well made wines of place.
At first open, the Zin tasted really tight to me. Luckily we opened it before we started cooking dinner. I decanted it and let it sit a couple hours. We had the wine with a light pasta dish. It tasted fruit forward and improved greatly as it got air. I would call it jammy. It’s young and if I was more organized I let a few bottles sit for a couple years to mature.
Went back to the rest of the bottle tonight. After 2 days, it’s opened up a lot. I would recommend letting this one either age or breathe for a bit. I’m picking breathe.
Barbera has overtaken Zinfandel to quickly become Amador County’s sought-after grape. Our Barbera has the crisp acidity Barbera is known for complmented by a fruit-forward bubble gum character in the middle of your palate. This wine pairs with most any food and ages well due to its low alcohol and pH.
2017 Zinfandel, Amador County
Zinfandel is so ubiquitous in Amador County that we often joke that our parents gave it to us in our baby bottles. This Zin was aged 9 months in American oak barrels. Heavy on the palate with all the boldness and fruit forward pluminess that make Amador County Zinfandels great, our Busi Ranch Zin is our flagship wine.
Not sold online, $348/case MSRP
About The Winery
Winery: Leoni Farms Winery
Owners: Jon and Meredith Campbell
Location: Amador County
For 6 generations we’ve done everything from dairy farming, mining, cattle ranching, logging, and construction in these mountains to try and make a living. We hope wine works because we don’t know what the heck else to do.
“Winemaking gives me the opportunity to see something from the very beginning of the pruning season, all the way to a glass of wine that I’ve made,” Campbell reflects. “It’s the feeling that you aged it, you maturated it and it’s something you molded and created. It’s very satisfying.”
Leoni Farms is a tribute to Co-Owner Meredith Campbell’s family name. The Leoni’s were Swiss pioneers who arrived with a Swiss-Italian wine-drinking tradition. The bottle art for Leoni Farms, a stalking silhouetted mountain lion, pays homage to the Swiss-Italian story in Amador. The word “leone” is Italian for lion. When sojourners from the Alps first arrived in the Mother Lode in the 1850s, many put stakes down in the higher elevations, where mountain lions, grizzly bears and gray wolves were part of the rugged natural world. Now only the mountain lions remain. But, as Campbell’s quick to point out, the brick and mortar of that era remains, too. For him, it’s the reason Amador’s wine tasting ambiance can’t be matched by other California settings.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
FedEx Ground: Monday, November 19th - Wednesday, November 21st
During our ‘free stop’ on the last RPM tour, Lauren and I stopped in at Leoni’s tasting room in Sutter Creek, and were impressed with everything we tasted. We took notes and picked up a few bottles as well; I’ll check to see if we have any notes on the bottles in current offering when I get home tonight.
@rjquillin ask away, barberas a very acidic grape, so it tends to be a bit more acidic with a lower ph than many of your other varietals. In Amador County, Barberas will typically come in with a 3.2- 3.3 ph vs say your zins at 3.5- 3.7, or your Rhone varietals with ph’s in the 3.7-4.1 range
@rjquillin TA on Barbera can be much higher than say , Cab , like .8+ range - often growers will let the grape hang far too long to try to get it down into that .6 spot , which inevitably means your brix is thru the roof ; which will often lead to a high alcohol (15+ ) flabby wine - I told a Barbera grower who was whining about high TA last year that “of course the TA is high at that brix , it’s barbera , if you wanna farm grapes with a Cab ta , then farm cab “
Bit of a complex story here. Received the wine this weekend. On initial pop-and-pour, the wine tasted sweet, almost tart. Not quite like a dessert wine, but incredibly fruit forward. Drank after an extensive sushi omakase meal, so may have just paired poorly there.
Let it open up for 2 more hours and still had a sweet/tart taste.
Kept it open overnight and had a glass the next afternoon. Significant improvement. No longer as sweet, but still has a hint of tartness - hard to explain.
Drinking now (2 days after). Solid recommendation after 2 days. Great mouthfeel. Heat is more noticeable than before (previously overpowered by sweet taste). The tart has developed into notes of raspberries or blueberries.
I think this wine needs a few more years in the bottle to develop or plenty of time in a decanter. May need some ideas on pairing as well, given its unique character.
At ~$15 a bottle I think it is a great buy - something a bit more adventurous for those willing to cellar/wait for it to open up.
Great to see Jon’s wines on Casemates. If I knew he was going to be on today, I would of opened one of his wines I have in my cellar for dinner last night. I certainly enjoy drinking them. This is a great deal. A winemaker can not afford to drink only his or her own wines. Then they get use to their own mistakes. Drinking the Leoni and others I like keeps me from making that mistake.
@charlie1350 yes , unfortunately every single state has different permitting and alcohol shipping rules - trust me , in 2018 , as a vintner , I would rather be able to ship to whichever customer wants to buy!
Often these rules are in place to protect the three tier system , and if you follow the campaign contributions, then you figure out why …
That said , I’ll look into a NH permit , I’ve just never had someone from there wanna but wine til now , which is cool
@kaolis this is Busi Ranch in Jackson , CA - the owner and I manage the field together and I’ve taken every grape off of it since 2012 - I really love that field ! If you go on our winery Facebook page , there is a lot of pics out there , including the cover photo , which is taken in the zin field
@IanMorr Barbera and zin will lay for some time , but drink it before 2022 ( I just love young wines , especially Barbera , when they have that nice , fruit forward character ) - I know Scott well , went to high school with his kid - we are one small , happy wine family in Amador