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Ravenswood Amador County Zinfandel 2008

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Ravenswood Winery:
  No Wimpy Wines. That’s the motto of Ravenswood Winery, a winery that believes that white Zinfandel’s best quality is that it preserved Old Vine Zinfandel during Prohibition. That’s not just some flashy name either: Joel Peterson, founder and winemaker of Ravenswood and nicknamed “the Godfather of Zin,” lives it every day. He spent 15 tireless years tr... Read more
  No Wimpy Wines. That’s the motto of Ravenswood Winery, a winery that believes that white Zinfandel’s best quality is that it preserved Old Vine Zinfandel during Prohibition. That’s not just some flashy name either: Joel Peterson, founder and winemaker of Ravenswood and nicknamed “the Godfather of Zin,” lives it every day. He spent 15 tireless years trying to get his winery to turn a profit, and while his first harvest was in 1976, it was in 1992 that he finally quit his other job at a clinical lab, splitting his life in two the whole time. Financing the operation was always difficult. For many years, the winery moved around, trying to find a cheap place to house their operations. It wasn’t until their Vintners Blend program was launched that they were finally able to settle down with the money they made, in 1991. Starting in the mid 80s, Vintners Blend was a less expensive wine, thanks to the fact that it was created by blending many grapes from different vineyards. In 1982 Ravenswood made their first Zinfandel with grapes from multiple vineyards, creating its County Series: wines that feature regional distinctions. Today, it sources grapes from over 100 vineyards in northern California, a huge expansion from its original vagabond roots. Read less

Tasting Notes:

This is practically a single-vineyard wine, with all the Zin grapes sourced from Amador County's Distasio Vineyard. The 2008 growing season started with frost, so crop levels were considerably smaller and the fruit ripened beautifully in slightly warmer temperatures than the previous vintage. So while the 2007 Amador Zin was more Chianti-like wit bright flavors and high-toned acidity, the '08 is both more fleshy and more burly. After 20 months spent aging in French oak barrels, this dramatic wine delivers the goods in typically distinctive Amador style. Big and dense, it has the yummy cherry-cola quality often found in Amador Zins, nicely balanced with rich tannins (supplemented by the addition of 10% Petite Sirah from Teldeschi Vineyard in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley) and uplifting acids. For several years, our Amador Zinfandel was the centerpiece Zin for The Wine Society in the U.K.


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