Alexander Valley Vineyards has always been a great source for delicious, well-balanced, expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. I finished my last bottle of the 1986 this past December and it remains fresh, complex and vibrant. That quality, however, is not limited to their Cabernet. Quality across the board is terrific here and the wines are priced for consumers, not collectors. The fact that the Wetzel family, AVV’s proprietors, planted some of the earliest vineyards in Alexander Valley gives them an advantage over many of their neighbors. They were able to get some exceptional vineyard locations, and at 1962 prices, based on the going rate for prune orchards and pastures, they were a bargain.
The Wetzel family has been a great custodian of these lands, utilizing the green practices of sustainable farming, and have built Alexander Valley Vineyards into an important member of Sonoma’s wine community. With 11 varieties of estate grown fruit they are able to offer a complete portfolio of interesting and enticing wines.
Among their portfolio one finds the trio of Zinfandels: Temptation, Sin Zin and Redemption.
TemptationThe Temptation Zinfandel gains some brightness from the dollop of Sangiovese included in the blend and has those classic, old-school spice notes that American oak contribute.
2006 Temptation California Zinfandel 14.5%
Soft and mouth filling though not terribly weighty with a really gentle, supple character making this very easy drinking. There’s plenty of sweet wild cherry fruit here, and a touch of sautéed herbs adding a touch of complexity.
Sin ZinSin Zin is pure, lush Zinfandel from Alexander Valley. It spends time in a combination of American and French oak, with each adding their own imprint to the finished wine, helping to produce a wine that is rich, complex, yet supple on release.
2007 Sin Zin Alexander Valley Zinfandel 14.4%
Richly fruited with candied watermelon and black raspberry fruits that are sweet and supple yet quite focused. This really has a wonderful mouthfeel, though it’s still a little tight and rigid, it is quite refreshing.
RedemptionA classic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel that stands in stark contrast to the fruit driven style of Temptation and Sin Zin. The richness and spice of new oak, again a combination of French and American barrels, frame the rich, black fruits of this Dry Creek Valley juice, giving this an added dimension.
2006 Redemption Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 14.5%
This is layered and complex with nice frutti di bosco tones, hints of earth, black spice and wood spice all adding accent notes to the fresh blackberry fruits. The freshness extends to the finish, which is a bit short but has a sneaky return of black raspberry.
No matter which wine seems to be to your taste you can rest assured that one of Alexander Valley Vineyards three Zinfandels deserve your attention.