If you’re in the market for old-school styled Zinfandel, you would do well to check out the wares of Wine Guerrilla. WG head honcho Bruce Patch has made it his mission to source fruit from some of the best vineyards in Sonoma County and craft wines in a manner that allows them to express themselves nicely, without excess oak, extraction, residual sugar or other such atrocities that have too often plagued the grape. I first tasted Zinfandel in 1976, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. As was the case with the previous batch of Wine Guerrilla Zins that I reviewed, these three remind me of many of those from back in the day when I first gained an appreciation for the variety.
2010 WG Zinfandel Sonoma Monte Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley Block E44, $42.00: Deep, dark color, almost opaque; classic aromatics of spicy black raspberry with a judicious kiss of sweet oak, which follows through nicely on the palate, less sweet and ripe then the nose might promise, with more earth and hints of dark chocolate. That’s all good in my book, since I don’t care for the excessively ripe style. Sleek, full bodied and structured for several years in the cellar, with acids every bit as prominent as the tannins. A little prickly right now, so this needs some time in the bottle (please, no Jim Croce jokes, let the man rest in peace), or at very least, decant it for a while before drinking now. Almost reminds me of some of David Rafanelli’s Zins back in the day, which also showed this kind of zippy acidity. 200 cases made. Find this wine
2010 Wine Guerrilla Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Mounts Vineyard ‘Cypress Block,’ 15 % alc., $40.00: Clean, dark color; lovely black raspberry sweet oak nose gains earthy undertones and briary notes on the palate. Full bodied, with excellent structure and very good length; like the WG Monte Rosso, this would actually like some time in the cellar, at least a few years, if not longer. The acids aren’t as shrill as those of the Monte Rosso, but they certainly do make themselves apparent from the get-go. About 95% Zinfandel and 5% Petite Sirah sourced from the same vineyard. 250 cases made. Find this wine
2010 Wine Guerrilla Russian River Valley Zinfandel Conte Vineyard, 15.6% alc., $30.00: Deep, dark garnet color; earthy, briary black raspberry nose promises just a little more than the flavors deliver, at first. Flavors echo the aromatics on a full bodied frame, with good structure and decent length, and it shows very good varietal character. Successive sips do give more pleasure; it’s consistent with our impressions of the 2009 model, being somewhat feminine in character, so I’m thinking that this would be a fine match with several of our local Pizzaria Biga pies. Easily the most approachable of these three, (and the most fairly priced, IMNSHO), yet structured for some time and development in the cellar. By the second pour, I’m liking this just fine. My kind o’ Zinfandel! Find this wine
Reporting from Day-twah,