Sonoma is just a stone’s throw from Napa County, up and over the Mayacamas range, but they really are a world apart in many ways. Napa Valley’s neat and orderly breakdown of appellations that are clearly defined, virtually all contiguous, and predictably different, look positively scientific when compared with Sonoma’s extensive, elongated AVAs. That’s short for American Viticultural Areas and, unlike Napa’s primarily latitudinal divisions, Sonoma’s tend to follow the contours of specific river valleys.  The Russian River Valley might be the most famous of these, but closer up towards the headwaters of the river lies the Alexander Valley, home to some of the oldest vines in the county.

What to expect: Alexander Valley Cabernet

The style of Alexander Valley Cabernet is built around a rather soft, voluptuous mouthfeel, the result of phenomenal structural ripeness yielding soft acidity and sweet tannins. However, the flavors these wines exhibit are more commonly associated with less ripe grapes. That is to say, the fruit tends to be in the red end of the spectrum, and the wines almost always feature a bit of a vegetal note. Explore Alexander Valley Wines: On Snooth.