2006 Arrowhead Mountain Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel

Sonoma Valley, CA; 15% ABV
$4 at the San Pablo, CA store

After being a little dissatisfied with the CA Zins I’ve gotten recently, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go for another, especially with such high alcohol content, but at this price I couldn’t resist. While it is a slightly odd wine, it’s probably fine for the price.

Ripe jammy / liqueur-like fruit of red and black raspberries, dried orange peel, a little prune and Zin spice, and a bitterly vegetal and tarry mid-palate to finish.  The winery’s site  provides these notes for this wine, on sale on their web site for $44:

The 2006 Arrowhead Mountain Zinfandel is a superb wine with notes of brier, black fruits, pepper and spices. Planted on steep slopes East of the Town of Sonoma, the vines compete with lots of volcanic rock for growing space providing these intense and complex flavors.

They probably could indeed make pretty good wine from these grapes if they didn’t go for the over-ripe, over-extracted style.  As it is, it went well with moderately spicy black beans with ground beef and green chilies.  My wife loved it.  The 2006 Arrowhead Red is for sale on the winery site for $42, and for $3 (as I recall, but maybe $4) at the San Pablo store.


10 thoughts on “2006 Arrowhead Mountain Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel

  1. J

    Loved this one – $3.99 in South San Francisco. I agree with whomever said that it was best on the third day…as if it lasts that long in my household. I’m buying extra!

  2. dluber

    Had a bottle of the 2006 Arrowhead Red tonite, out of juice glasses with pizza, for which it did alright. Hard to say what aromas it had given the glassware and the fact that we were in a room with 2,400 lbs of vigorously fermenting grapes, but it washed the ‘za down nicely. Very soft and fruity but with some grip, resembling a Zin that held up better than I would have expected for its age, doubtless the influence of the Syrah tannin, which was noticeable but very supple. Not a ton of depth of flavor, simple but satisfying – better than $2 Chuck for a dollar more. It seemed pretty low in acid, so since we had it out anyway, we stuck a pH meter in a glass out of curiosity: it came up at 4.1, definitely on the high end (high pH means low acid; most dry red wines should be around pH 3.5 +/- 0.2) – drink now.

  3. lim13

    I know…we’ve discussed this on a number of occasions on our blog…but how in the world does a wine selling on the winery web site sell for $44, sell at GO for four bucks? There’s just something here that does not compute. Think the winery is aware of the GO pricing? Sounds like that monster Zin style that goes in and out of favor, depending on the decade. Wonder if it’ll ever find it’s way north to WA?

    1. seedboy

      I suspect that it did not sell, and they decided to convert inventory into money. This wine is ripe but it is not a fruit bomb. I suspect that it is too tannic for the fruit bomb crowd, and that is why it did not sell.

      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Wow, I guess we have different definitions of fruit bomb! Sure, there was tannin, but at least on the first night, it was thick, felt-like tannin, not anything hard that gives real structure. But for all I know, you could be right about why it didn’t sell, plus the high price. I’m not going to contact the winery and ask. 🙂

    2. left.banker@bobmail.info

      True story. I knew a winemaker who made pricey central coast reds. Small production, largely sold through the winery and his wine club. Had a loyal following and did reasonably well selling at $30ish/bottle. He also bottled the very same wines, put a less-elegant, somewhat jokey label on them and sold them to Trader Joe’s where they retailed for under $10. His comment on the whole thing: “I sure hope my wine club members never find out.”

  4. seedboy

    I love both this wine and the Arrowhead Red, which is a blend of zin with some syrah. The zin is best on its third day. This vineyard was planted from heritage clones collected in Sonoma County, and I’m betting that there are some mixed blacks in the zin, because the zin has more tannin than I’d expect from 100% zin.

    1. Michele Sandberg

      I agree, it’s best on the third day. Day one, I tasted strong tannins on the finish. But, it mellowed out…wishing I had more! I bought it in Grass Valley for $3.99, quite the bargain!

      1. GOwinelover

        Hated this on day 1. Tossed it. All tannins, bitterness and nothing else. Beaver Creek far superior. Missing foil, also, adding info to the price discussion. Winery has an interesting history with JC Cellars, etc…


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