2005 Alexander Valley Estate Zinfandel
Displaying a beautiful dark ruby color with purple hues, this Zinfandel overflows with aromas of earthy red berry, raspberry and sweet candied strawberry. On the palate, this medium-weight wine is loaded with red fruit and floral flavors, while possessing a natural acidity that translates to a long, spicy finish.
Click to Enlarge
Stuhlmuller Vineyards is located at the southern edge of the Alexander Valley, where it converges with two other highly regarded Sonoma County appellations, Chalk Hill and the Russian River Valley. On its eastern edge, the 150-acre vineyard borders the Russian River. Situated in a unique location that is part river benchlands and part hillside, the vineyard benefits from its alluvial gravel soils and the more rocky soils that comprise the hillside sections of the vineyard.
At Stuhlmuller, two blocks totaling roughly one acre have been carefully set aside for growing small amounts of exceptional Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. These vines have been head pruned to augment the natural intensity of the hillside grown fruit by reducing yields. The bud wood for this Zinfandel came from the prized 115-year-old Teldeschi clone, a legendary selection from Dry Creek Valley.
Overall, 2005 produced a good size crop of high quality fruit. To accentuate this quality, we did a lot of thinning and fruit dropping to intensify flavor, while creating conditions for uniform ripening. A beautiful late-season Indian summer paired with a final fruit drop the day before harvest to weed out any imperfect clusters yielded exceptional Zinfandel grapes.
The 2005 Zinfandel fruit came in cold on October 14 and was gently de-stemmed. Whole berries were then put in open-top tanks, where they spent three weeks on the skins before being pressed on November 7. The wine was aged primarily in neutral French oak, with a small amount of new and American oak used to add nuance. The wine was racked twice and spent 12 months aging in barrel.