Amazing! This is a stylish, full-bodied and extremely complex Alexander Valley Meritage at a great price. The wine opens with a color of deep crimson red. Layers of black cherry and berry fruit aromas fold into elements of sage, spice, cedar and subtle vanillin oak. The structure of the palate is rich and intense. Artful blending has crafted a beautiful balance of fruit flavors, oak and fine tannin with great length. While the wine is approachable now, the true rewards will be over the next decade.
"The quintessential Alexander Valley Cabernet, always dependably soft, fruity and complex. This year is on the best ever. Plush and velvety, with endless nuances, it's like sipping the essence of black cherries stepped in kirsch. Dry, with just enough oak to add smoke and spice." -Wine Enthusiast
One of California's oldest and most award-winning wineries, Geyser Peak was founded in 1880, a pioneer of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Perched on a hillside across from Geyser Peak Mountain, this beautiful setting overlooks Geyserville, the Russian River and the northern end of Alexander Valley.
The winery consistently garners some of the most prestigious awards in winemaking, including Winery of the Year and Winemaker of the Year honors. Its outstanding team of winemakers and viticulturalists are noted for fruit-forward, food-friendly wines from prime vineyard sources in the Alexander Valley.
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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.
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.
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 & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.