Sunday, November 02, 2008

2005 Bella Vineyards Zinfandels from Dry Creek and Alexander Valley

Zin lovers have little reason to visit this site - with notes on over a thousand wines I can only point to a half dozen Zinfandels reviewed here. Not sure if it is the grape, or the style that winemakers use to express the grape these days, but I generally find them fruity, flabby and alcoholic. Despite that intro, a successful tasting of Zins at Bella Vineyards last year led to a few bottles of Zin coming home with me, and since I couldn't go to Sonoma this year I have to settle for revisiting the treasures in my cellar... 

The 2005 Bella Vineyards Big River Ranch (Alexander Valley) was the superior wine, in my opinion. A stunning, complex nose of flinty blackberries, rose petals, black earth, spices (pepper, nutmeg and cloves) and much more. Uncharacteristic depth and a lengthy finish for this varietal, with spicy blackberries and velvety tannins to please the tastebuds, the heavy alcohol barely noticeable. This certainly has potential...I have one more bottle for a future date.
cork. 14.9% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: ~US$35 (winery)

The 2005 Bella Vineyards Lily Hill Estate (Dry Creek Valley) is more of what you expect from a Zin - hot, meaty, blueberry jam on the nose, vanilla and violets as well, with a soft (it started crisp but quickly went soft) generous palate and gripping finish. A "fruity, over-the-top" Zin, but much better than other "fruity, over-the-top" Zins. Luscious and flavourful, simpler than the "Big River" above - ready to drink now.
cork. 15.5% alcohol
Score: 16.5/20
Price: ~US$35 (winery)

Look, the winery is scenic, the wines are great, and you can't get them anywhere else - a must see for anyone planning a Sonoma visit. Cheers!

1 comment:

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