I’m going through something of a Zinfandel reawakening here in Day-twah, and more than a little of it has to do with the good things we’ve tasted from Wine Guerrilla in the last month. Sure, we still love our Mr. Ridge and drink them pretty regularly, but other than those, there have been precious few Zins coming through the door here at Gang Central over the last few years. Had we known what Bruce Patch and David Caffaro were up to, we would have made a point of paying them a visit and getting the lowdown from them directly when we were out left last spring. The ironic part of all this is that we actually stopped in at Caffaro’s place on Dry Creek Road to pick up wine for our buddy Frank Joyce in late April.
There wouldn’t even have been any “oh wells” or “if onlys” had Patch not gotten wind of us and sent some wine for us to try, which we quite liked and reported accordingly. Then, as these things often happen, I ran into three bottles of Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel at retail last week here in the Detroit area and did not hesitate to pick them up and give them a try, and guess what? These are quite good too, and being from the ’07 and ’08 vintage, they’ve given us a good read on how the wines do with a year or two in bottle, which is to say, very well indeed. Here are our impressions of what we tried.
2008 Wine Guerrilla Sonoma Zinfandel, 15.3% alc., $20.99: Clean, dark color, with flavors and aromas of spicy black raspberry, blackberry, root beer and sweet toasty oak. The fruit is bright and ripe, stopping short of going over the top, but with a little air, tones down some and gains some subtle earth underneath. Full bodied and sleek, with good structure and length, this is nice on its own terms, but lacks some of the depth of the ’09 Harris-Kratka, which it most seems to resemble of the three we tried previously. Find this wine
2007 Wine Guerrilla Sonoma Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley, 15.3% alc., $18.69: Clean, dark color, with sweet, toasty oak, black raspberry, root beer and underbrush on the nose, all of which echoes and expands on the palate, sans root beer. Earthier than the ’08 Sonoma, with ripe fruit that is counter-balanced by some nice forest floor character. Full bodied and sleek, with good structure and length, offering good value for the price. Find this wine
2007 Wine Guerrilla Sonoma Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Goat Trek Vineyard Block 6, 15.5% alc., $20.99: Deep and dark in color, with warm and friendly flavors of perfumed black raspberry, blackberry and blueberry, shaded with hints of root beer and earth, a perfect kiss of sweet oak and a nice brambly note that takes me back in time. Full bodied, with good structure for some further development over at least the next two or three years. This is really nice old school Zinfandel, and definitely the best of these three, as might be expected with the single vineyard source. I’m going back for more of this one! Find this wine
One of the things I especially like about Wine Guerrilla is that they don’t muck things up with excess oak, at least with the six that we’ve tried now; any notes of wood are in good proportion to the fruit, which, of course, is so much the better for the drinking experience. Hats off to Wine Guerrilla for doing Zinfandel the way Zinfandel ought to be done!
Reporting from Day-twah,