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%
- 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
- 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%
- 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
- 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.