Wine Last Sold on: July 26, 2012
Alexander Valley Vineyards
|Region:||California: Alexander Valley|
|Total Allocation:||Encore Allocation|
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The Winery Says:
Awards & Accolades:
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Grand Champion – Best of Show – 2011 Houston Rodeo Wine Competition
About This Wine:
Understanding exactly what qualities will be delivered from each vineyard is a key component to making great wine and a significant reason why CYRUS wins praise from critics year after year. For this latest release of our proprietary Bordeaux blend, Winemaker Kevin Hall selected fruit from seven different vineyards he determined were particularly exceptional in 2006. But deciding which vineyards lots are the best was only the first step. Kevin also had to determine which Bordeaux varietals would best compliment the Cabernet Sauvignon that is the focal point for CYRUS and in what quantities. For the 2006, he blended in a sizeable amount of Cabernet Franc along with some Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Finally the wine was aged for a year in French and American oak. blended and then aged an additional year in French oak barrels.
The 2006 is a complex wine offering up flavors of blackberry and rich mocha. Taste this vintage of CYRUS and you’ll quickly understand why it is a top award winning wine and was rated a 92 by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
About The Winery:
Welcome to our family-owned wine estate, once the original homestead of Cyrus Alexander, the namesake of this prominent viticultural appellation, Alexander Valley. We purchased the land from the Alexander’s heirs in 1962, planted vineyards, and in 1975 built our winery. Here we grow grapes and produce delicious wines that complement food and enrich your dining experience.
Alexander Valley Vineyards is located on Highway 128 in northern Sonoma County, just 75 miles north of San Francisco, 6 miles from the sleepy town of Healdsburg and 16 miles from Calistoga in the Napa Valley.
Visit our historic property, taste our award-winning wines including our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and our renowned Sin Zin, bring a picnic and enjoy beautiful vistas of our peaceful, rural valley. Our winery tasting room is open daily, 10am to 5pm.
About The Winemaker:
Kevin Hall has studied wine and winemaking techniques across the globe, but the AVV winemaker says his philosophy has always been to respect the inherent qualities of the estate grapes right at his doorstep. “I get beautiful fruit from here on the property,” he says, “and my main focus is to preserve the flavor of the varietal and the terroir.”
Kevin, who has a Masters of Science in Enology from the University of California–Davis, joined the winemaking staff at AVV in 1998. Before that, he spent a year exploring the world’s major wine regions with his wife Paula. “My wife’s family is from the Mosel region of Germany,” he says. “Her grandparents made wine and sold it to their village cooperative.” The pair worked at wineries in Bingen, Germany and Hastings, New Zealand. Between assignments, while traveling through Italy, Spain and all the major wine regions of France and Australia, they talked to as many winemakers as they could, learning key techniques that other winemakers used to produce their best wines.
Under his direction, Alexander Valley Vineyards has won numerous prestigious awards including Best of Show at both the Atlanta International Wine Competition and the Houston Rodeo International Wine Competition, Best Red Wine at the Eastern International Wine Competition and the Florida State Fair and Best Bordeaux Blend at the California State Fair.
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Grape Varietal: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot
Barrel Regimen: Aged for 24 months in French and American oak, 30% new
Alcohol: 14% by volume
Acid: 6.6 g/L
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The Wine Spies Say:
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
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Mission Codename: Held Back
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red back to Alexander Valley Vineyard to secure an allocation of their flagship Cyrus, a beautifully balanced Bordeaux-style blend.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Alexander Valley Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Cyrus
Winemaker: Kevin Hall
Backgrounder: Alexander Valley in northeast Sonoma County is located on the western side of the Mayacamas range and extends westward to the edge of the Russian River Valley. This appellation was formerly considered a part of Dry Creek Valley but became its own appellation in November 1984. The region is best known for exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and, increasingly, Zinfandel.
Varietal Backgrounder: Bordeaux wines are usually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. In France, perfection is achieved with the perfect balance of these grapes. Today’s 2006 Cyrus is a masterful blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark burgundy hues, with even coloration, from core to edge. Wine coats the glass with color when swirled. After a moment, this coating coalesces into tall columns of skinny, wine-colored legs that run slowly down the glass.
Smell – Warm and sweet, with spiced blackberry, black cherry and brambly boysenberry. As the wine opens up, soft leather, chocolate and dried cranberry mingle with soft dried meats, black pepper and a hint of fennel.
Feel – Plush and softly grippy, at first, bright flavors, spice and medium tannins all come together to make your mouth water. After a moment, the palate dries slightly, leaving behind a softly flinty feel.
Taste – Bright red and black fruit mingle with spice, toasted oak, earthy dried leaves and black pepper. Fruits consist of wild strawberry, blackberry, black cherry and black raspberry.
Finish – Very long and bright, with sustained fruit and spice. Earthen flavors are revealed as fruit tails off. Dried leaves, minerals and black pepper appear at the very end.
Conclusion – We’ve had the great pleasure to feature Alexander Valley Vineyards several times over the last four years. Always, we have loved AVVs fantastic wines. For today’s wine, we were given free access to their wines – and we went right for the top. Today’s 2006 Cyrus is AVVs flagship Bordeaaux-style blend and we are enamored with it. Bold, bright, spice and richly layered, today’s wine is delicious, complex and intriguing. With its bright and balanced flavors, this wine is an easy companion for a great meal. We paired ours with freshly grilled burgers with all the fixings. We give this wine a big Wine Spies recommendation.
SUBJECT: Kevin Hall
WINE EDUCATION: I have a Master’s Degree in Enology from the University of California at Davis.
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: 13 years at AVV, 3 years at Sebastiani
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Be passionate about wine and never take short cuts
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”Don’t screw up the fruit.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1998, Pinot noir
AGENT RED: Greetings, Kevin Hall. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Cyrus today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
KEVIN HALL: I am always happy to be here, Red.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
KEVIN: My wife’s family was involved in the wine industry and it was a way to get closer to her.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
KEVIN: I worked for a winemaker in New Zealand named Rod McDonald. His passion for wine was contagious.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
KEVIN: For our wine-loving customers
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
KEVIN: 2006 Cyrus. A blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot The 2006 exhibits lush aromas of black cherry, plum, vanilla and a touch of mint. This big structured wine offers flavors of blackberry, cocoa and some rich mocha. The concentration makes this a wine that could easily cellar for up to 20 years.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
KEVIN: Red wine and mushroom risotto.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Alexander Valley so special?
KEVIN: The Alexander valley has extremely diverse soil types and the climate is a blend of coastal and inland influences. We can have temperature shifts of 50 degrees in the growing season which allows the grapes to ripen slowly.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
KEVIN: Barreling down the new vintage.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
KEVIN: Have fun and enjoy.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Alexander Valley Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.