In 1978 Hank Wetzel produced the very first vintage of Sin Zin. The wine was an
immediate hit with spicy, jammy, elegant fruit flavors and an unforgettable label.
Thirty two years later, Sin Zin is one of the most recognizable wines in the country.
From the beginning Sin Zin has been a more elegant style of Zinfandel due to both
the region and winemaking style. We harvest the grapes from throughout the
Alexander Valley - including the valley floor, hillsides and benchlands to get a wide
range of complex red fruit flavors in the glass. Since 1999 winemaker Kevin Hall
has carried on the tradition looking for a balance of ripeness and acidity in each lot
to showcase the elegance of the region. This balance explains Sin Zin's restaurant
popularity; it is always a food friendly style of Zinfandel.
2009 was a cooler vintage with fewer heat spikes than in the past few years,
allowing for uniform ripening in the Alexander Valley which led to wines with good
structure, balance and complexity. Overall, the vintage is more elegant than in
many recent years. Kevin blended in a small amount of Petite Sirah to broaden the
mouthfeel on the wine and add a little more dark fruit to the palate.
There are aromas of raspberry, plum, black cherry, and a touch of citrus. Flavors of
plum, black cherry, black pepper, spice and pomegranate fill the glass. Sin Zin has
been a true American original for three decades, the 2009 continues the legacy.
Alexander Valley Vineyards
Alexander Valley Vineyards is owned and operated by the Harry Wetzel family. Founded in 1975, it is located on Cyrus Alexander's old homestead.
The Wetzel Family Estate now grows fourteen grape varieties, on diverse sites stretching from the banks of the Russian River up onto the hillsides. Each grape variety is matched to a specific soil type and exposure. Vineyard Manager Mark Houser and Winemaker Kevin Hall work as a team to maximize fruit flavor in the vineyard and to create balanced wines that capture the grapes’ varietal characteristics. Hank Wetzel oversees the vineyard and winery operations, and his wife Linda continues to oversee administration. Now the third generation of Wetzels has joined the winery. Harry Wetzel, IV is assistant winemaker while younger brother Robert is the National Sales Manager.
Alexander Valley Vineyards produces 100,000 cases annually, 17 varietal wines and proprietary blends. Seventy-five percent of AVV’s production is red wine. Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon constitute roughly half of total production. Other varietals include Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, and Cabernet Franc.
View all Alexander Valley Vineyards Wines
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about half as much wine as its northeasterly neighbor. Because of its vast size, however, Sonoma is able to achieve far more diversity within its borders, which include sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid-back and down-to-earth, but the wines are serious and well-made, ranging in style from subtle and elegant to rich and powerful. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
The largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Even though I've enjoyed this wine in restaurants, the ordered online wine tasted bitter. I'm wondering if the flavor was changed by the shipping environment such as being left inside hot warehouses and/or the UPS trucks during warm weather times of the year.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.