Taking a last look at 2006 Zinfandel

Taking a last look at 2006 Zinfandel


As the shelves see their first 2008 Zinfandels, and are quickly filling with many 2007’s, I thought it was time to take another look at 2006, a vintage with a reputation, not all of it good.

2006 was a difficult vintage in much of Northern California that saw a cool and damp spring make rot an issue early in the season. The  July heat wave that followed further stressed the vines, yet cooler temperatures returned for the end of the season, accompanied by more rains and more rot. It was a vintage that required considerable work in the vineyards, but also offered those who were diligent and patient good weather during harvest, and a small crop of healthy grapes.

Alexander Valley Vineyards

One of three great Zinfandels from this pioneering producer. I'll be reviewing the rest tomorrow so check back for information on Sin Zin and Temptation.

2006 Alexander Valley Vineyards Redemption Dry Creek Valley 14.5%
Black raspberry jam on dry toast greets the nose, tight with black fruit and spice notes slowly unfurling with a touch of apricot jam and a nice brambly top note.  There’s a little vanilla and spice box but it’s well integrated and in balance.

Paso Robles Biker

Four Vines consistenly produces some big, brawny wines, yet they always behave at the table, the Biker is no exception.

2006 Four Vines Biker Paso Robles 15%

This is pretty big in the mouth with a lot of power, and big, furry tannins,  yet it retains freshening acidity. There are masses of dark, slightly confected fruit with touches of molasses, mocha and spice adding focus and give the wine a bit of form.

Wine Guerrilla

A relatively new producer specializing in Sonoma County Zinfandel. Read more about their great line up of 2007's Zinfandels next week.

2006 Wine Guerrilla Two Vineyards Dry Creek Valley 14.6%

Red fruit, tar and licorice on the nose, with an underlying sweet raspberry tone and nice earthy spiciness all in balance.  Soft tannins and good acidity in a relatively medium weight frame help support nice wild raspberry and wild cherry fruit.

To see all the 2006 Zinfandels I've reviewed this year click here. Stay tuned for a focus on the 2007 Wine Guerrilla line up that will be sent out tomorrow.

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