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Starlite Vineyards Alexander Valley Zinfandel 2006

Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • WE92
15% ABV
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This lovely garnet-colored Zinfandel offers a beguiling aroma of ripe plums, chocolate, black cherries and raspberries with a hint of cloves. Accents of vanillin spice, subtle oak, cocoa bean and hints of white pepper add complexity in texture and dimension. It is a luscious mouthful with silky-fine tannins and great follow-through on the palate.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Expensive, but worth it if you're a fan of rich, opulent Zinfandel. Shows Alexander Valley soft tannins and an herbal, sage and oregano edge to the enormously ripe blackberry, cherry and currant flavors, spiced with a great burst of black pepper. Notable for balance and elegance despite the power. The consulting winemaker was Merry Edwards.
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Starlite Vineyards

Starlite Vineyards

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Starlite Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Starlite Vineyards is a boutique family-owned winery and estate located in Sonoma County’s famed Alexander Valley.  The vineyards are nestled on a hilltop close to the Russian River where proprietors Arman and Rina Pahlavan, along with their sons Spencer and Theodore, have produced wines that are artful expressions of their lives.  With support from their wine makers, the Pahlavans have created elegant yet delicate wines with the most impressionable flavors and bouquets.  Production level for the current vintages are 1200 cases of Zinfandel and 250 cases of Viognier.

We strove to make wines with fruit-forward flavors, floral bouquets and elegance.  That is why we have some of the most aromatic and luscious wines in Alexander Valley.  Why make these wines and not the standard varietals?  Because we believe wine is about flavors, flowers and bouquets.

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 bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa County, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimen of the vine and acted as the source of its importation to New England by George Gibbs, probably in 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

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, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

STR6240_2006 Item# 108975