Bruce Patch of Wine Guerrilla sent me a box of wine to taste. Well, not a box of wine - a box with 3 bottles of wine! I couldn't get to it right away due to a head cold (hard to smell and taste with a code in by dose), but when I could smell again, I pulled together a tasting with the team: Debra B (multiple certifications in wine education), winemaker Shawn Shai Halahmy (Shai Cellars), wild child Marya G (a great palate and lots of wine experience), First Acolyte JD (always coming from a slightly different place), and yours truly.
The wines - in order of tasting:
2009 Adel's Vineyard Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley - 100% Zinfandel - clear, pale ruby in appearance; youthful, brambly berries, black cherry, black pepper, graphite, and a bit too much alcohol in the nose; dry to medium acidity on the palate, medium bodied, little viscosity, and interesting green curry and spice in the mouth. We all found the finish to be a tad bitter with an odd acid spike. However, when paired with food - skirt steak salad with a slightly sweet vinaigrette dressing in my case - the acidity and bitterness disappeared. Very drinkable. 170 cases produced. $30
2009 Clopton Vineyard Zinfandel, Russian River Valley - A field blend of 79% Old Vine Zinfandel - 100+ years old! and 21% Alicante Bouschet. Medium ruby core, pale ruby edging; blackberry, leather, cherry, white pepper, and chocolate on the nose; black cherry, boysenberry, leather and bacon in the mouth; medium bodied, rounded tannins, medium acid and alcohol. We all liked this wine a lot. Delicious! 120 cases produced. $35
2009 Rebel Cru Red Blend, Sonoma County - 40% Zinfandel/40% Cabernet Sauvignon/10% Petit Sirah/10% Syrah - Clear, deep red appearance; cooked cherry, black currant, mushroom, forest floor, and too much alcohol in the nose; herbal overtones in the mouth, earthy, forest floor, dried currants, mushroom, and medium to high tannins. By itself, it felt unbalanced; with food, it improved and was a satisfying complement to the meal. No case information. $25
According to the website, the name, “Wine Guerrilla,” reflects a unique approach to winemaking and marketing. Having begun as a broker of fine small-production artisinal [sic] wines, Wine Guerrilla brings together a vision of a reasonably priced premium wine with a love of California’s native grape, zinfandel.
The Goddess' tasting team concluded that the wines were young, interesting, and would definitely benefit from being in the bottle at least another year, although we know that in this business, winemakers need to move their product quickly in order to stay alive. Wine Guerrilla wines are well-priced - search on www.wine-searcher.com to find them at lower prices than on the winery site - easy-drinking and food friendly. That should keep them going strong! I also want to compliment them on their beautiful labels; obviously a lot of thought and artistry went into the designs.
Stay tuned for my recap of the First Annual Paso Garagiste Festival!