Ottimino Ranch Bello 2006
Zinfandel from Russian River, California
Black cherry and pomegranate aromas are laced with hints of white pepper, Occidental dust, and vanillin spice. The palate entry has gobs of fruit, with cherry, bramble and ripe strawberry at the core. Smooth, round tannins anchor a great depth and concentration of flavor, and the excellent balance makes this Zinfandel a great food wine.
Wine & Spirits - "Rancho Bello is a dry-farmed vineyard on a ridge above Green Valley, a warm spot that matures zin into a juicy textural pleasure. This wine has the cool touch of satin and silk, a weave of pine, strawberry, sweet William and resinous herb. Tannins darken and firm it up, but the fruit keeps pouring out from behind them. Decant this to let the aromas build, then serve it with grilled rack of lamb. "
Wine Enthusiast - "A wildly flavored, tannic and exuberant Zinfandel that showcases the variety’s exotic personality. Dry and full-bodied, it has brambly flavors of blackberries, black currants, licorice, mocha and smoky cedar, liberally sprinkled with dusty Asian spices."
Close enough to the ocean to benefit from the cooling sea breeze yet high enough to be above the fog on many days, this section of the Russian River Valley Appellation is unsurpassed in yielding award winning Zinfandel wine. Winemaker William Knuttel's 25 years experience along with his creativity and intuition guide him as he transforms fruit from Von Weidlich, Rancho Bello, and Ottimino Vineyards into unparalleled wine. View all Ottimino Wines
About Russian River
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
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.