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Stuhlmuller Vineyards Estate Zinfandel 2014

Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • WW92
14.2% ABV
  • WS90
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

From its lush, brambly character to its alluring layers of black cherry, boysenberry, and dark plum, this is a classic expression of Zinfandel. On the palate, the vibrant fruit flavors are underscored by notes of vanilla, spice and sweet tobacco leaf. While the texture is supple and creamy, good acidity keeps the flavors lively, while carrying the wine to long, bright finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: One of the most confusing comments in the wine biz is, "This is a food wine!" Depending on the source of the words, this could be either a negative or a positive. From my perspective, the term "food wine," is always good unless a vendor is trying to convince me that a thin and austere wine is perfect with food and apparently nothing else. TASTING NOTES: The 2014 Stuhlmuller Vineyards Estate Zinfandel shows rich and bright boysenberry flavors. While this is a fairly big wine, its excellent balance qualifies it as a beautiful wine with food. Pair this wine with pan-seared lamb chops and enjoy the match. (Tasted: February 15, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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Stuhlmuller Vineyards

Stuhlmuller Vineyards

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Stuhlmuller Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Stuhlmuller Vineyards is tucked into a unique river bench and hillside location in the southwestern edge of the Alexander Valley where three of Northern Sonoma County's top appellations come together, virtually a stone's throw from Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley. After selling grapes to a number of area wineries, in the mid-90's Fritz Stuhlmuller decided to put the family's name on a label, working with winemaker Kerry Damskey to produce small lots of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from 150-acres of estate vineyard. The cool climate and varied soils and exposures create Chardonnay with classic Alexander Valley tropical characteristics plus crisp citrus/apple notes and a distinctive mineral touch. The Cabernet Sauvignon adds hints of sage and bay leaf to the region's rich cherry, black fruit and cocoa. In 2000 a new winery was built on the property, a vest pocket gem sized precisely to handle the small amount of fruit the Stuhlmullers select from special blocks for their own wines.

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 Valley, 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 specimens 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.

SHLSE14ZN_2014 Item# 335325