We'd received an email from owner Bill Nachbaur a few weeks before; he and his wife Betsy have been farming their Alegria Vineyard since 1990, and had seen our notes regarding some of the Ridge bottlings made from their fruit. (The Nachbaurs had provided fruit to Ridge for six years; those grapes now go to Rosenblum, which produced its first Alegria bottling with the 97 vintage.) He looked forward to seeing us at ZAP, and so we made a point of seeking them out. Bill and Betsy are warm, friendly folks, and their 1997 Alegria Vineyards Heritage Vines Zinfandel was my hands down favorite of the Good Eats and Zinfandel Tasting.
Acorn Alegria is comprised of 78% Zinfandel, 11%
Alicante Bouschet and 9% Petite Sirah, with the remaining 2% including Carignan,
Trousseau, Sangiovese, Petit Bouschet, Negrette, Syrah, Muscat Noir, Cinsault, and
Grenache, this was aged 1/8 in new Hungarian and American oak barrels, and 7/8 in older
French oak barrels. A pink/purple garnet, it shows lovely creamy zinberry/black
cherry/spice flavors and aromas, along with a certain aromatic quality that I found hard
to describe at the time of tasting, but was nevertheless enchanted with (some fake wine
writer I am
). Despite the 15.8% alcohol, there was no heat to speak of.