12 January 2011

Wine Guerrilla

There are 10 wines under the Wine Guerrilla marque, a company that specializes in quality Zinfandel from northern California. I've previously reviewed two bottles, and here I get to take a look at three more. Continuing with the fauvism theme, these arty labels are distinctive. (This particular style was advanced by one of the art teachers in my high school, and examples lined the walls of one of the main buildings.) Of the three labels in the photo, I think I like the one in the middle the most. Something about the tilt of the head reminds me of a girl I once knew.

One thing I'll note in advance that all three of these are very young, and most likely won't show their full character for another two or three years.

2009 Conte Vineyard
Russian River Valley
$30, 15.1% abv.
Like some of my favorite Ridge wines, this is blended in the field. 83% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 2% Alicante Bouschet, and 1% Grenache.

Deep purple wine with a light aroma of toast, leather, and plum. Initially it is smooth but a tart finish hits you in the back of the mouth. Tannins linger long afterward. This is one that remains strong even after breathing.

2009 Forchini Vineyards "Old Vine"
Dry Creek Valley
$35, 16.1% abv.
Another field blend, this one is 95% Zinfandel with the remainder comprised of Carignane, Petite Sirah, and Alicante Bouchet. And since these vines are over 100 years old, they should qualify as "old vine" under any classification system.

Spicy, hot, firm tannins, dominant character of blueberry. While this alcohol level is huge, it blows off pretty well with a few hours of decanting. The heat and fumes are gone, and what remains is a deeper exploration into that blueberry and black pepper flavor. Medium tannins with a balanced finish, just enough to keep you thinking about the wine.

2009 Harris-Kratka Vineyard
Alexander Valley
$30, 14.8% abv.
85% Zinfandel, 10% Carignan, and 5% Petite Sirah.

Cassis, raw beef, firm tannins. Dark plum flavors with a little smoke and leather. I think it's my favorite of the three, clocking in at the lowest alcohol level but also having the best balance of the group. There's a good mix of fruit, acidity, and tannins, and it only improves with breathing.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


fredric koeppel said...

we drank the Wine Guerilla Adel's Vineyard Zinfandel 2009, Dry Creek Valley,with spicy chicken burritos last night. I like the style, which is not heavy-handed or gushy. Even the color was lighter than one expects with zinfandel.

Benito said...


Dry Creek is such an interesting little area for Zinfandel. I look forward to reading your full notes on the wines.