2008 Russian River Valley Zinfandel
California: Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
King of Zin Valley
We were very excited at the prospect of reviewing today’s wine. We had heard great things about Sandole Wines and when this wine was presented to us, we leapt at the chance to evaluate it for you.
We are thrilled to report that today’s 2008 Sandole Wines Russian River Valley Zinfandel is a delight, bursting with dark aromas and even darker flavors. A little bit of decanting (or hearty swirling) goes a long way to giving this wine a softer feel and flavors that burst with juicy goodness.
Made by Zinfandel legend Leslie Cisneros (of Arista and Kastania fame), today’s wine is a sure thing. Combine Leslie’s talent with today’s low price, and we have a wine that we offer to you with our strong recommendation.
Very dark and very pretty, with darkest ruby hues from the center of the wine out to the edge of the glass.
Earthy and dark with black fruit, spice and bramble giving the wine a very broad nose. Wild blackberry, dusty briar patch, dried fall leaves, black cherry and mixed dark spice round out the nose.
Super bright with bold black cherry, blackberry, dried dark rose petals, dusty bakers chocolate, sweet tobacco leaf, toasty cedar, hard blackberry candy, hard leather and mixed dark spice.
Bright and tart with dark fruit, spice and woodsy flavors dwindling in even proportion.
Enjoy with a tangy BBQ chicken, babyback ribs or a steak teriyaki.
What the Winery Says
This characteristic 2008 zinfandel from Elsbree Vineyards in the northeastern corner of Russian River Valley has extraordinarily complex flavors and aromas. Each taste is filled with wild berry, ripe strawberry, black current, blueberry, and warm spices throughout the finish.
- Russian River Valley
About the Winery
Sandole is a family owned micro-winery focused on the finest single vineyard grapes. The 2007 vintage achieved their 20-year aspiration to craft elegant cool climate Pinot Noir, along with zesty and robust Zinfandel. They are passionate about you gaining pleasure from the experience along with enjoyment of unique fruit characteristics under every cork.
In The Beginning
An exciting journey began with enjoyment of wine and expanded into a life style transformation, accelerating the first time they cranked the handle of a rented stemmer-crusher. Passion for wine mounted as Sandee and Cliff explored many experiences in Lake Tahoe’s food, beverage, and entertainment industry. Wine pairings with local culinary innovation and frequent visits to the Russian River Valley enhanced their appreciation for the area’s fine wine opportunities.
Shortly after moving back down the mountain from Lake Tahoe to Sebastopol, six acres of aging Gravenstein apple orchard was replanted with vineyards. Pinot Noir was gaining recognition in the area and became the grape of choice on the ranch’s fog draped rolling hills - upriver from the Pacific Ocean.
A return to this land with a long family history focused them on the enjoyment and creativity it takes to craft great wines. This exciting vision escalated as every vintage matured and berry cluster tartness softened into sweet fruity aromas.
Oehlman family history in the bay area goes back well over a century with emigration from Germany to San Francisco in 1872. Sailing through the bay as ship’s riggers they viewed a picturesque landscape on the port side, drawing them north to the rolling hills of Sonoma County. The family prospered in the Russian River Valley, embracing plentiful opportunities for new farming and ranching.
Living in the Vine Hill District of Russian River Valley they developed an appreciation for sustainable farming techniques of prunes, apples and grapes. This three fruit mixture dominated the ranch in 1894 when a combination of phylloxera and prohibition knocked out many of the grape vines by the mid 1920s. In 1987 a grape resurgence began with a new six acre parcel of Pinot Noir terraced into the south-east hillside overlooking the valley.