Four Vines The Sophisticate Zinfandel 2009
Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
The wine was kissed with a touch of Petite Sirah and aged in small French and American oak barrels for 14 months. The result is a well-dressed, ruckus country brawler of surprising style and grace.
Nicknamed The Sophisticate because it expresses the elegant side of Zinfandel, this wine has a sexy nose with anise, caramelized sugar, and spicy blackberry jam with a not of cherry cigar box. On the palate, strong vanilla, brooding fruit, spices of dark rum... big flavors, yet refined and stylish.
Wine Spectator - "Ripe and jammy, with smoky blackberry aromas and soft, rich black cherry, pepper and anise flavors."
Four Vines Winery
In 1994 Four Vines Winery kicked into gear featuring eclectic, appellation-specific Zins, and one kick-ass no-oak "Naked" Chardonnay. They named their Zins Biker, The Sophisticate and Maverick. Rich, succulent, fruit-generous wines that pair incredibly well with food. The winery relocated to Paso Robles where they began experimenting with Rhone varietals; bigger, headier wines that are positively explosive in flavor and form. No matter the wine, Four Vines has always brought a refreshing, irreverent attitude to the industry. Today, the winery sources fruit from all over the state of California and crushes mainly on the Central Coast and in Sonoma County. This allows grapes to arrive at their peak of cool morning temperatures to the crush pad. It all starts in the vineyard…don't let anyone tell you anything else. In late 2010, Derek Benham acquired Four Vines from its founders and moved the winery operations back up north to Sonoma County where it originally started. Four Vines is now in a position to reach its full potential as a category leader in Unoaked Chardonnay and Zinfandel. The story continues... View all Four Vines Wines
About Sonoma CountyRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe 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.
About CaliforniaIt'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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.