Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys extend north and west from the town of Healdsburg like the prongs of a tuning fork. To the east, the Alexander Valley is large, sprawling and populated with wineries with household names like Silver Oak, Jordan, Rodney Strong and Coppola. To its left, Dry Creek Valley forms a narrower path as it winds toward Lake Sonoma. Many of its wineries bear the names of Italian immigrant families whose descendants tend the vines planted by their grandfathers. Both valleys produce wines of almost every major varietal, but they are primarily known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
Cabernet is the standard bearer in the Alexander Valley. This is really no surprise when you consider that it’s the perfect choice for an oil tycoon, professional dancer, another oil tycoon, and Hollywood director. These are the former (or other) professions of the founders of the wineries listed above. King Cabernet permitted these men to live in the quiet sanctity of a vineyard, without having to abandon their celebrity. In fact, making Cabernet probably made them more famous. Fortunately, Cabernet Sauvignon grows particularly well in the Alexander Valley, fashioning wines with a fleshy texture and chocolaty flavors.
Zinfandel has deep roots in Dry Creek and makes high octane, inky purple wines that are luxuriously rough and rustic. This isn’t the pink stuff that your Aunt Tilly drinks on Thanksgiving. It’s likely that Zinfandel first appeared in California during the California gold rush and became the beverage of choice for many a thirsty miner. The vines in Dry Creek are old and some of the families who first planted them have been around for even longer. In contrast to their peers in the Alexander Valley, the denizens of Dry Creek are more apt to call themselves farmers, and are content just making delicious wine. If the world recognizes them for it, that’s even better.
If your mood or preference is for Cab from Alexander or Zin from Dry Creek, we’ve got the wine for you. Our new Lot 74 Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley has movie star quality for the price of a matinee. The wine is deep violet in color with aromas of cassis, currant and cocoa. Approachably plump and ready to drink, plan to pop it open the next time neighbors come knocking. And, if you want to bring some power to your dinner hour, try our Lot 80 Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. Cavernously dark in color with brilliant aromas of blackberries, cola and campfire, this wine makes a huge first impression without being a show off. If you don’t want to choose one, don’t worry. Together, both bottles cost less than the price of two cocktails.
The post A Tale of Two Valleys: Alexander Valley Cabernet (Lot 74) & Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel (Lot 80) appeared first on 90+ Cellars.