Friday, September 8, 2006

Alexander Valley Vineyards Tasting

Alexander Valley predominately produces Sonoma-style reds, so yesterday we tried two whites and seven reds. The best thing about the whites and the zins we tried was the artwork. We took home a poster of the Sin Zin that I'll frame and hang somewhere as it compliments some of our other artwork. So here's what we tasted and my two cents as best as I can remember. It should also be noted that the servers pour entirely too much at these tastings, and I wind up not tasting much toward the end despite all the tidbits of finger food I eat.

The New Gewurz
Considering gewurztraminers are normally pretty expensive, this one was definitely the best value of all the things we tasted. For $8 you really can't beat it. And the taste? Wonderfully light and crisp as a good gewurz should be.

Estate Chardonnay
Normally chards aren't my favorites because I find them rather 'boring.' This one was pretty nice -- more complex than others I've tried. Its oaky from being fermented in French oak barrels.

Temptation Zinfandel
(92% Zin and 8% Sangiovese) This one was full bodied with black fruits and currants. Spicy, but nicely balanced.

Sin Zin
Another great black fruit zin - black cherry, plum, blackberry and very black peppery. Super fragrant and delicious.

Redemption Zin
The last of the deadly and sinful zins, this was the most complex and the most expensive. It was described as the 'antidote' to the sin zin with a wonderful fruitiness and smooth finish. I meant to try this one again but didn't.

Estate Syrah
Ridiculously light. Slight touches of vanilla and blackberry but this one really lacked any umph. Tasted like...water?

Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Enthusiast gave this one 90 pts and this was my favorite of the Estate reds. It had a lot more body and balance than the others. Silky smooth finish and still under $20.

Estate Merlot
I've yet to taste a merlot that is different from all the rest. Merlot is just merlot so far, although I've tried so few. This, like the syrah, really lacked the umph I was looking for from the fruit.

This one checked in at $45 but boy, was it tempting to splurge on. This was a blend of 80% Cabernet, 13% merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec, and finally 1% Petit Verdot each from their finest Bordeaux from each vintage. Wine Enthusiast rated it a 93 pts and its won some other awards. Its good. Really good. This was the one that they really poured too much in my glass...twice. It had a nice long finish with tones of chocolate, plum, black cherry, and cassis. If I stored wine, I would definitely buy this one to save for a few years.

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