2007 Alexander Valley Estate Zinfandel
Displaying a dark ruby-to-purple color with a bright rim, this Zinfandel begins with beautifully pronounced aromas of black raspberry and dark plum, alongside exotic notes of ripe peach and blue flowers. On the palate, it is lush and fullbodied, with a creamy mouthfeel and intense fruit flavors of boysenberry and black raspberry, underscored by hints of fig, violet, lavender, smoke and spice.
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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 2.5 acres have been set aside for growing small amounts of exceptional Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. These vines are head pruned to augment the natural intensity of the hillside grown fruit by reducing yields. The budwood for this Zinfandel came from the prized 115-year-old Teldeschi clone, a legendary selection from Dry Creek Valley.
The 2007 growing season offered a nice warm spring, and two early-season heat spikes that set the stage for a relatively early and relaxed harvest. This pace, which allowed us to pick at will, combined with low yields and ideal lateseason weather produced fruit with excellent concentration, depth and varietal purity. Our Zinfandel was picked in two lots (two weeks apart), one of which was co-fermented with Petite Sirah.
The Zinfandel fruit was gently destemmed in two lots. Both lots were fermented as whole berries in open-top tanks, where they spent approximately two weeks on the skins. In addition, a small amount of fruit was fermented as whole clusters to add tannin structure. Aging occurred in roughly 25% new French and American oak, with the remainder being neutral. The wines were racked twice and spent 12-14 months in barrel before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.