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Wow! What a staggering statement. The opaque purple robe of the 1998 Alexander Valley Vineyards Syrah sets the tone for this high-powered, very full-bodied wine (it admits to 13.9% alcohol, but we know better). Scents of black fruits: plums, black raspberry and wild cherry, entwined in new oak, permeate the nose. Long, lush fruit flavors melded to black walnut and lavish oak linger in the mouth before soft tannins and a good dollop of alcohol let you know that this is not a wine to serve at the Senior Citizens Bridge Club Luncheon. This is a serious but easy drinking wine, due in part to small lot, whole cluster fermentation. Let this big boned beauty breathe for about thirty minutes before serving, and then enjoy.
Hearty fare strikes us as the order of the day with the 1998 Alexander Valley Syrah. Consumed with a lusty, fresh marinara with homemade bread and a hefty slice of hard, ungrated Parmesan cheese, made several of us think we had breathed our last. The simple rustic flavors of the Syrah with the feisty tomato sauce were enough to make us "cry uncle"; after all, how much of a good thing can any person take? On second thought, who needs a meal when there is a bottle of Alexander Valley Syrah hanging around? But if you insist, put some good Italian sausage on the grill, rustle up some stew, or braise some venison, and set a bottle or two of the Syrah on the table. However, be forewarned, no wimps need apply! Bon appetit!
Nineteenth century pioneer Cyrus Alexander explored Northern Sonoma County and settled the beautiful valley now named for him, selecting pristine acreage for his own family's estate. More than one hundred years later, in 1962, Harry and Maggie Wetzel purchased Alexander's homestead from his heirs. The Wetzel family then became twentieth century pioneers, as they restored the residence and planted the property with premium grape varieties. Today, the Wetzel Family Estate is home to Alexander Valley Vineyards, a prominent, family-owned and operated vineyard and winery. Alexander Valley Vineyards crafts impressive wine from grapes which are carefully cultivated on 150 prime acres, reaching from the banks of the Russian River up into the surrounding foothills.
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