I realized shortly after heading to Sonoma that I had far too many posts left to make from the DC International Wine and Food Festival and the trip to Sonoma was only going to make me further behind on those. I was entirely right and found it more interesting to talk to you all about our actual experiences in Sonoma, so the posts about the Festival took a backseat. I still have plenty of vineyard visits from Sonoma to tell you about, but I'm going to throw one in now from the Festival.
Though to be honest, we actually visited Alexander Valley Vineyards on our very first trip to Sonoma in 2006. I've reviewed some of their wines here before, most recently the delicious Cyrus for Open That Bottle Night. When I saw the vineyard at the Festival I was very interested to taste the new line-up, especially since OTBN had only been a few days before.
2006 Estate Chardonnay: 70% Stainless Steel, 30% Neutral barrel with no maloactic. Pineapple, pear, nicely done.
2005 Temptation Zin: 92% Zin, 8% Sangiovese. Strawberry, spice, dark berries, fruity. Well done, I liked this one.
2006 Sin Zin: Berry, spice, cherry, raspberry.
2005 Redemption Zin: Spicier than the others, with darker fruit, some leather. This one was all from Dry Creek Valley, where the Temptation is Dry Creek and Alexander Valley fruit and the Sin is all Alexander Valley fruit.
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon: Blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Leather, red berries, funk, spicy, layered berries, fruitier as I swirled.
I've quickly learned that if you actually pay attention and are interested in what the wineries have to offer, they like to talk to you and offer to let you taste special wines. With that in mind, I got to taste a special one from Alexander Valley Vineyards!
2004 Top of Crop Cabernet Sauvignon: 200 cases made, aged 18 months in oak, picked specially for the great fruit. This was a big wine with lots of dark fruit, spice, smoke, dark berries and chocolate. Very good.