2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards


This is based on samples provided by the winery.






Acorn is owned by Betsy and Bill Nachbaur.  Besides being the owners, they are also the winegrowers.  The couple owns 32 acres in the Russian River Valley they purchased in 1990.  Their vineyard, Alegria Vineyards is a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard that is planted in alluvial, rocky clay-loam benchland soils.  The estate consists of 70 grape varieties.  The original Zinfandel vineyard was planted in 1890, one of the oldest in Sonoma County.  Hopefully the vineyard, winery and most importantly the family is safe from the fiery destruction the region is encountering this week.  The winery produces less than 3,000 cases of wine a year of Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Axiom® Syrah, Heritage Vines™ Zinfandel, Rosato, Medley® (Blend of Blends) and Acorn Hill® (“Super Tuscan”).


In the early days, the family sold their grapes to other wineries but in 1994 they decided to start producing their own wines and established Acorn Winery.  Their first release was the 1994 Sangiovese.


The Nachbaur’s passion is “growing and producing co-fermented field-blends (the grapes are interplanted, harvested, and fermented together) creating balanced, food-friendly wines made in the old-world style.”  All of the winery’s vineyards are planted to be used in blends.  As noted below, the Zinfandel vineyard was originally planted in 1890 and includes 18 varieties.  The Syrah blocks have Viognier planted with the three clones of Syrah.


The Cabernet Franc block that was planted in 1991 includes Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Tannat, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Dolcetto blocks also planted in 1991 includes Barbera and Freisa.

The Sangiovese block, again planted in 1991 includes Canaiolo and Mammolo.


Besides being the owner and winegrowner, Bill is the winemaker along with consulting winemaker Clay Mauritson.


The winery sells these wines consumer-direct in most states and the wines are distributed in several states.  For more information about the winery or to purchase these wonderful wines, visit their website.


Here’s wishing a prosperous future to Acorn Winery.  As the saying goes, “mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”




2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards – SRP $48

This wine is a true zinfandel based field blend from a vineyard composed of 18 inter-planted grape varieties that was first planted in 1890.  All work in the vineyard is performed by hand and each vine gets individualized attention.  The extra time and effort shows in the wine.


This is a blend of 78% Zinfandel, 11% Alicante Bouschet, 9% Petite Sirah. The remaining 2% includes Carignane, Trousseau, Sangiovese, Petit Bouschet, Negrette, Syrah, Plavac Mali, Tannat, Muscat Noir, Peloursin, Béclan, Palomino, Cinsaut, Monbaclan, and Grenache.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 15 months in 65% French oak (21% new), 25% American oak (5% new) and 10% Hungarian oak.  The barrels came from 8 different coopers.  There were 504 cases bottled in December 2015.


The wine is a deep ruby color.  The hypnotic nose has brambly berries, white pepper, crushed rocks, violets, dark bittersweet chocolate, cedar, cherries and scorched earth.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  The juicy palate has berries, minerals and white pepper on the front end with cedar and cherry coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with scorched earth and a floral note providing good depth.  This is a nice, structured, food friendly Zin that doesn’t carry any extra weight or extraction.  This is drinking very nicely right now with some air but some cellar time will be rewarded.  The balance, tannins and acidity show this wine will last several years in the cellar.  Great job!  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Zinfandel Heritage Vines Alegría Vineyards




2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards – SRP $42

This wine includes 2% Viognier with the 98% Syrah (3 clones) from the winery’s Alegria Vineyard in the Russian River Valley.


After a three day cold soak and fermentation, the wine was aged for 18 months in 54% French (28% new) and 46% European oak barrels.  304 cases were produced and bottled in March 2016.


The wine is a deep, dark purple color.  The enticing nose is full of crushed blackberries, melted licorice, crushed stone minerals, white pepper, smoked meat, dried wild flowers and dark chocolate.  This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and good acidity.  This is bold and velvety on the palate with blackberries, white pepper, minerals and smoked meat on the front end with licorice and dark chocolate coming in later.  The finish has very good length with dark roast coffee beans and a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This tastes very good today but will really shine in another year.  Drink this one starting in 2018 through at least the middle of the next decade.  I’d love this with some Texas barbecue next Summer.  This just gets better with every sip.  Count me as a fan!  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  This has 14% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards

2014 Acorn Syrah Axiom Alegría Vineyards





Bothe of these wines were outstanding already but will be even better down the road.  This was my first exposure to this winery and I look forward to having more of their wine in the future.  I hope the winery and vineyard are able to survive the fires currently engulfing the California wine country.  This is definitely a winery we will hear more from in the future.







These perfectly balanced wines were the perfect companions for dinner.  The Zinfandel was paired with Pork Ribs I smoked for several hours.  I don’t use sauce but the ribs were generously coated with my dry rub.  The ribs were wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator over night so the spice could draw out the juices, mix with them and get reabsorbed into the meat.

For the Syrah, I paired it with a Boneless Pork Loin Chop that was breaded in Chipotle seasoned Panko bread crumbs and fried.  This was served with breaded and fried zucchini and green beans both fresh from the garden.





I am a big fan of the “Flash Wine Sale” site Last Bottle.  I highly recommend getting on their e-mail list.  Like most of the flash sale sites, they offer one wine per day until it sells out.  They also have a couple two-day marathons during the year.  Last Bottle is a great site to buy special wines at prices low enough to open any day of the week.


If you sign up using this link you will get a $10 credit that can be used on your first purchase.  I will also get a credit if you make a purchase.


Other than getting a credit as explained above, I have no financial interest in the site.  After you are on the list, you can also get the same credit by introducing friends to Last Bottle.




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.