Review: A pair of Stinger Wines

Vance Rose not only makes the 5-Mile Bridge Zinfandel I recently reviewed, but also has some wines out that are squarely aimed at the $10 and under market. These wines have been constructed in a way to be a huge step-up from the many “grocery-store” brands that fall in that same price arena.


With competing regions like Mendoze Argentina, Portugal and Spain, it’s becoming more paramount that U.S. producers find ways to maintain a competitive-edge and that’s exactly what I see going on with the “Stinger” brand.

2008 Stinger Sauvignon Blanc – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Grapes:100% Clone 3 sauvignon blanc
  • Appellation:100% Napa Valley
  • Harvest Dates:September 12th and October 1st
  • Fermentation:84% Tank Fermented, 9% neutral barrel fermented and 7% stainless barrel fermented
  • Second Fermentation:No Malo-Lactic Fermentation
  • Aging:25% stainless steel and 75% barrel aged for 4 months with 5% new oak
  • Residual Sugar:  0.16
  • Titratable Acid:  5.9 grams per liter
  • PH:3.39
  • Alcohol:  14.2%
  • Cases Produced:  420 cases
  • Price: $10

Nose: Typical sauv blanc grassiness up in my nose – along with grapefruit, kiwi, star-fruit and a slight hint of mango.

Taste: Nothing that really stands out there in my mind – it’s a solid Sauv Blanc for around $10 – has good acidity, good finish and a decent overall mouthfeel. The grass-covered grapefruit is in full effect here and this would make a very reasonable pick for any sort of shelfish or pasta dishes with artichokes.


2007 Zinfandel – W.E.P. Rating: 120%

Technical Data:

  • Varietal: 100% Zinfandel unfined and unfiltered
  • AVA:Paso Robles
  • Vineyard Data
  • Vineyard:Santa Margarita Vineyard “The Knoll”
  • Elevation:1,000 feet
  • Density:990 vines per acre
  • Avg. Vine Age:8 years
  • Harvest Dates:10/9/07 and 10/31/07 (Halloween)
  • Brix at Harvest:23.8        and    25.9
  • Cold Soak:2 days controlled cold soak
  • Fermentation:16 days   and 13 days
  • Oak:13 months in 71% American and 29% French Oak – No new oak
  • Alcohol:14.9%
  • pH:3.88
  • Bottling Date:2/24/09
  • Cases Bottled:4,986
  • Price: $10

Nose: Cherries, coca-cola, white and black pepper with a hint of cedar and big-league chew.

Taste: One of the most profound cherry-coke flavored wines I’ve ever had – holy cow, if this drink was carbonated you’d swear it wasn’t made from grapes – a very tasty wine that excellent overtones of cherries, cola, star anise, cumin, rhubarb with black pepper. Good finish and one of the best zins I’ve had for $10 anywhere – a no brainer for bbq or spicey grilled meats.