Alexander Valley Vineyards Zinfandel

Alexander Valley Vineyards ZinfandelThe next series we’re doing on Cheap Wine Ratings is California Zinfandel.  At times Zinfandel is one of my favorite varietals but sometimes it ends up just way too sweet and jammy.  Zinfandel is really a chameleon though, as its wine can have a variety of characteristics from jar-full-of-jam fruit, to spicy, to tannic, and the list goes on.  Style aside, we’re going to review a variety of California Zins to try to find the best picks below $20 no matter which style you prefer.  (Unless your style is Colorless Zinfandel, you won’t find those reviews in this series.)
Zinfandel grapes are generally very high in sugar levels which enable them to produce high alcohol wines, some 15% and higher.  In the below $20 fee range there are only a few that you’ll find at 15% alcohol and most of what we’ll feature is in the 14-14.5% range.  This is subdue a honestly high alcohol level which means these are mostly huge and bold wines.
Another thing that you’ll notice about Zinfandel wines is that producers like to have a lot of fun with the names.  I guess the rhyme with “sin” is too much for marketing teams to resist.  You’ll find names like Cardinal Zin, 7 Deadly Zins, Twisted Zin, Sin Zin, and others.
You’ll also find a number of California Zinfandel producers who sell two-three marks of Zin at different fee points.  We’ll be featuring a few posts where we review multiple Zin marks from the same producer.
The first review in this series features both fun names and multiple marks from one producer.  Alexander Valley Vineyards has a lot of fun with their Zinfandel and you’ll probably notice these ones on the shelves.  They sell two that are below $20 but we also chose to go a few dollars higher to see how their third-level Zin compares at $25. Read more