2006 Dashe "Todd Brothers Ranch" Old Vines Alexander Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1045222

96 points and the highest rated Zin in the "Year's Best Zinfandels" article from Wine & Spirits Magazine: "There's bracing tension in this serious young zin, layers of black raspberry, licorice and red apple intensity that lasts for minutes after each sip. The texture is generous and broad, the brisk fruit feels lovely. A great vintage from these 50-year-old vines." (02/09) The 50th anniversary of this vineyard gives Dashe a leg up on making one of the most interesting Zins of the year. The thing that struck me about this Zin was its masculinity. This is one of those burly, hairy-knuckle, hands-that-can-bend-steel numbers. Without any excess sugar, this is jam-free zin, instead building its base on rock solid tannin and thorny berry fruit. To say this wine needs time in a cellar or hours in a decanter is an understatement. But what you will find, if patience enough, is plenty of Bakers' cocoa, dried blueberry, wet clay and sassafrass flavors all wrapped up in one of the most classically structured Zins I've seen in years. This reminded me of the Zins from the late '70s and early '80s before the sugar, extraction and heat got too out of hand. Scoop some of this up for the cellar and drink around 2013. (Bryan Brick, K&L)

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Price: $29.99

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Varietal:

Zinfandel

- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.