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The 2005 Valley of the Moon Sonoma County Zinfandel is a rich, full-bodied potion that hardly shows its 15% alcohol. In fact, it is one aromatic Zinfandel that offers a boat load of flavor. Moreover, it comes across as smooth and utterly charming on the palate, where it delivers a tasty concoction of berry, bramble, and oak – all of which appear blissfully sunk into the marrow of the wine. With aeration, and we do suggest you allow this youthful Zin some time in the glass or decanter to collect itself, the 2005 Valley of the Moon Zinfandel reveals subtlety to match its vigor and great wealth of flavor. We suggest serving this delightful Zin relatively cool (57°-65° F) in order to catch the wine's entire metamorphosis. Patience will highlight this wine's subtleties as well as its fruit and overt charm.
Zinfandel is America's own wine. One of the aspects we like best about Zinfandel is how well it accompanies what Americans like to eat. Roast Turkey and all the trimmings, a simple burger off the grill, a perfectly cooked steak, or better still a host of classic Mediterranean delights straight out of the brick oven all offer excellent companionship to the 2005 Valley of the Moon Sonoma County Zinfandel. Southern Italian classics such as Baked Ziti, Eggplant or Zucchini Parmigiana, Lasagna, and Manicotti are just a few of our favorite dishes to pair with this wine. After all, Zinfandel, or more accurately its ancestor Primitivo, thrives in southern Italy, where it marries perfectly with the tomato-rich sauces of Italy's Mezzogiorno.In addition, Zinfandel complements a variety of Tex-Mex dishes better than any other red wine, so why not try the 2005 Valley of the Moon Zinfandel with burritos or fajitas? And if all you need is a solitary respite from life's drudgery, you can count on the Valley of the Moon Zinfandel to accommodate. So sit down, pour a glass, and relax!
Valley of the Moon is the most historic terroir in Sonoma County as well as one of California's viticultural icons. Haunted by history and romance, the Sonoma Valley was called "Valley of the Moon" by the Native Americans who inhabited the area because, as the moon ascended in the evening sky, it appeared to rise, again and again, over the peaks and glens of the Mayacamas mountain range. Thus, the moon in all its phases is the symbol for Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards, which is located in the very heart of Sonoma Valley. The etched design on the bottle of each Valley of the Moon wine depicts the lunar phases surrounded by a "cosmos" of white dots, thereby portraying the expression of moonlight as the reflected light of the sun.
The land on which the Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards is located has an illustrious past. Once, it was part of the vast 48,000-acre Agua Caliente Land Grant owned by the legendary statesman General MarianoVallejo, the 19th-century Mexican governor of California. After California became part of the United States, the property changed owners several times before 1863, when the "Stone Tract" portion of the property was conveyed to Mr. George Whitman. According to the best records, Mr. Whitman was the first owner to grow wine grapes on the land. He also built a winery there; and, by 1876, his enterprise was a hugely successful one, annually producing 50,000 gallons of wine and at least 2,000 gallons of brandy. Later in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a succession of owners would take possession of this illustrious property, including George Hearst, the father of the renowned newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Prohibition hit Sonoma County especially hard, and, like most California vineyards, the Valley of the Moon property languished during Prohibition and its aftermath. The entire viticultural region would have to await the Wine Renaissance of the 1960s and 70s for the first signs of redemption. For the Valley of the Moon estate, it was not until winemaker Mike Lee and Gary Heck, the present owner, took possession of this historic property that its restoration began. Under the guidance of Heck, Lee, and winemaker Pat Henderson, Valley of the Moon was finally restored to its former glory. Today, the Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards is distinguished by the marriage of its rich history to a new state-of-the-art wine production facility.
The creation of Valley of the Moon wines begins with hand selection. All of the fruit comes from the estate and a few select nearby vineyards that are chosen on the basis of their long histories of producing the absolute highest quality fruit. As vineyard management is simply the most important part of winemaking, these vineyards must also share the estate's "banana belt" microclimate, which allows the grapes to develop deep, rich flavors and colors. Warm Mediterranean-like days followed by cool Sonoma Valley evenings, characterized by the nightly fog banks that roll in from the Pacific Ocean and up into the Valley of the Moon, keep the estate's fruit at an optimum temperature.
Valley of the Moon produces traditional red and white varietals, bottling outstanding Zinfandel from a vineyard planted in the 1940's as well as excellent Syrah, Sangiovese, Barbera, and a Meritage offering called Cuvee de la Luna. In addition, Valley of the Moon fashions benchmark Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. And at Valley of the Moon Winery, all estate-bottled wines are produced from organic grapes, and sulfite usage is minimal. No other preservatives are employed, resulting in healthy, natural-tasting wines.
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