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Flat front label of wine

Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus (375ML half-bottle) 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
  • WE93
14% ABV
  • D91
  • RP93
  • WE90
  • WE92
  • W&S91
  • WE91
  • WE92
  • WE92
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 has intense color and dusty aromas of plum, black cherry, cassis and toasty oak. There are flavors of cherry, plum, vanilla, oak and blackberry. This seamless blend has a good structure on the finish and a long aftertaste.

While Alexander Valley Vineyards releases Cyrus four years after harvest, the wine is still quite young. It will open up beautifully in the glass, but will easily benefit from additional bottle aging.

Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petite Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This Bordeaux-style blend, based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, is the winery’s best in years. It shows the soft tannins and herbal quality of Alexander Valley Cabs, yet is rich enough in blackberry, currant and oak to satisfy. Its tannin structure feels elegant, with layers of complexity to accompany fine cuisine.
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Alexander Valley Vineyards

Alexander Valley Vineyards

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Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sonoma County, California
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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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

GZT5408326_2008 Item# 122859