Wine Guerrilla is a company that produces Zinfandel with grapes sourced from various vineyards throughout Sonoma County. There are eight different bottles in the current range, priced from $12-35. Why make eight different Zinfandels? There's a surprising amount of variety within a relatively small area and with the judicious blending of Petite Sirah or other red grapes, a good winemaker can make a unique wine. When I visited Sonoma last year I was amazed to taste, say three Zinfandels at one winery, drive a mile, and try three very different Zinfandels at the neighboring winery.
If you're interested in how these little subregions of Sonoma differ from one another, it would be worthwhile to work through these wines. You'll get a little tour of the region under the direction of a single winemaking philosophy. I got to try two:
The 2008 Russian River Valley, $18, 16.5% abv. 86% Zinfandel from MacMurray Ranch and 14% Petite Sirah from Forchini's Russian River Ranch. A big, bold red with strong black cherry aromas and a Port-like character. Tart with lots of overripe berry flavors. As it breathes and opens up over the course of a few hours, it softens and has a rounder mouthfeel.
The 2008 Adel's Vineyard Dry Creek Valley is a smaller run with 210 cases made. $30, 16.3% abv. 100% Zinfandel. Much more complex with vegetal notes, a touch of chocolate, and a brambly aspect. On the palate are wild strawberries, more chocolate, and just a slightly bitter finish with mouth-drying tannins.
For higher alcohol, fruit-forward wines like these I'd recommend roast lamb, venison, or another strongly-flavored meat with a rich sauce.
Note: These wines were received as samples from Wine Guerrilla.