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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

All Vintages
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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A source of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon that can rival its Napa Valley neighbors, the Alexander Valley is the hottest AVA in the county. This large and heavily planted appellation is only 25 miles from the coast, but it is relatively free of fog due to the sheltering effects of the mountain ranges in between. However, the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cool-climate pockets and soft, alluvial soil ideal for grape-growing.

In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties as well as Zinfandel thrive here, all of which take on a bold and voluptuous personality. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have been discovered here, 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.

STR6240_2006 Item# 108975