Stuhlmuller Estate Zinfandel 2021, Alexander Valley, California

Stuhlmuller Vineyards, located in southern Alexander Valley, converges with two highly regarded Sonoma County appellations, Chalk Hill and Russian River Valley. On its eastern edge, the 150-acre vineyard borders the Russian River. Situated in a location that is part river benchlands and part hillside, the vineyard benefits from its alluvial gravel soils and the rockier soils of the hillside sections. This Zinfandel was co-fermented with our Petite Sirah as 100% whole berries in open-top stainless steel fermenters for a 17-day maceration period. A traditional manual basket press was then used for this small lot. The wine was aged in 50% French and 50% American oak barrels, with 20% new oak. It was racked twice and spent a total of 16 months in barrel before gentle crossflow filtration and bottling. With a brilliant dark ruby hue, splendid aromas of black cherry, boysenberry, and cocoa powder jump from the glass, followed by layers of allspice, cardamom, and white pepper. On the palate, a rich, velvety texture and balanced acidity add length and sophistication to the red and dark berry flavors. Hints of dried flowers, vanilla, and oak spice linger on the energetic finish. 2021 composition: 91% Zinfandel, 9% Petit Sirah.