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Bella Vineyards Big River Ranch Zinfandel 2014

Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    14.9% ABV
    • RP92
    • CG91
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    14.9% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The wine begins with lovely aromatics and a hint of forest floor. It is balanced withbright lively black and red fruits. Notes of sassparilla and anise evolve into a velvety full mouth feel that is rich and dense. The finish is long and silky.

    Blend: 91% Zinfandel, 9% Syrah

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bella Vineyards

    Bella Vineyards

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    Bella Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    Scott and Lynn Adams burst onto the wine scene withthe 1999 vintage, and continue to offer distinctivelydifferent wines from their estate vineyards nearHealdsburg, and a few other sites that complementtheir unwavering devotion to quality farming. Theirfocused attention to making limited quantities of great wines hasresulted in an ever growing base of Bella fanatics. Their wineryevents and parties are legendary, but what really sets them apartis their terrific portfolio of wines, a combination of restrained powerand age-worthy elegance.

    Alexander Valley

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    Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.

    In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.

    Zinfandel

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    Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

    In the Glass

    Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

    Perfect Pairings

    Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

    Sommelier Secret

    Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

    BELZN14BR_2014 Item# 354813