2017 Alexander School Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel 750ml
Wine Data

Appellation:  Alexander Valley

Grape Varietal:  Zinfandel 100%

Alcohol:  16.1%

pH:  3.75

TA:  6.3 g/L

Size:  750ml

Cases: 275


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The 2017 Series: Old Vine Zinfandel

Old vine Zinfandel is all about complexity and nuance, each sip shares the story of the vine. Winemaker Kevin Hall selected Alexander Valley Zinfandel from a single 50 year old vineyard near the winery for this small production wine. The giant, gnarly old vines are head trained and spur pruned, yielding small clusters with fewer grapes per vine.

2017 was a vintage of contrasts. Our ample rainfall in January and February allayed any talk of drought, but winter rains were followed by a warm spring and many heat spikes throughout the summer until we began harvest. We picked this single lot on September 7.

The small lot was cold soaked for 24 hours, then inoculated with a yeast that enhanced the Zinfandel's inherent fruitiness and spiciness. After fermentation and pressing, the wine was aged for 22 months in six American oak barrels to develop complexity and soften the tannins.

On the nose there are aromas of earthy, spicy dark fruits, plum, brown sugar, chocolate, dried cherries and orange peel. In the glass there are rich flavors of dark fruits, spice, graphite, oak, vanilla, slight stone fruit and cocoa powder. This is a big glass of wine, with a rich full entry, yet like so many wines from the Alexander Valley, there is nice acidity and balance. There is a long finish, giving you time to reflect on the Wetzel Family's history with Zinfandel.


2016:  88 points - Wine Advocate