Easily Confused

I thought this wine, was the same Bella Zinfandel I’ve already reviewed and I was going to review it again since it’s been 6 months or so since I drank it. However, I was wrong. As I went back to look at my old post, I realized the labels are slightly different and this is a completely different Zinfandel.

What I have here is a Bella Big River Ranch 2004 Alexander Valley Zinfandel. And I’d been avoiding drinking it because I thought I already reviewed it! Apparently it is sold out through the winery, but when we got it, it cost $34 minus a club discount, weighs in at 15% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.

On the nose there were gobs of dark fruit. Blackberries and black cherries with a hint of spices, vanilla and a cedar hope chest, along with black currants showing later. In the mouth the wine was quite tannic. I suggest decanting or holding off for a few years on this one. After the wine sat out, the flavors smoothed and the air certainly helped enhance the fruit, showing blackberries, other dark fruits and hints of oak. Once it aired, this wine showed the potential to be a very complex Zinfandel, with spicy earth undertones. I would definitely say hold on to it or let it decant before you consume!

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3 Responses

  1. I agree. With Bella, the Lily Hill wines seem to be ready to drink earlier than the Alexander Valley. But then, the Alexander Valley wines can have more of the complexity you refer to.

    We’re trying to talk with Bella and post an interview on our site. Maybe we’ll bring up this question of place…also, I wonder if they source the fruit from Alexander Valley and therefore have less control, whereas the Lily Hill is literally right on top of their wine caves and is their estate wine?

  2. I look forward to the interview. It was one of the wine clubs I was pained to cut, but alas, a roof over our heads is more crucial than wine!

  3. Hi Sonadora. Just got back from Sonoma – Bella was amazing! I totally agree with you – the Big Ranch should be cellared for a few years…Cheers!

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