Ravenswood California Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
About This Wine: The Zinfandel from this vineyard has been revered by every winery that has made wine from it. The majority of Barricia is an old, low-production vineyard in a special location in Sonoma Valley. Due to the age of the vines and the dry farming practices, the crop level on these vines is low and the vine vigor minimal. This, of course, leads to very intense wines.<br/><br/> Additionally, the thick-skinned nature of the grapes and the predominant tannins work to maintain the perfect balance between fruit and structure.<br/><br/> Raspberry, cherry pie, cracked black pepper, and spice driven scents with hints of coffee and new leather add complexity to the aromas classically associated with Barricia vineyards. Delicious sweet red fruit favors at the heart of the wine give way to an intense finish with silky tannins and lingering flavors of blackberries and candied cherries. This is a wine with lovely structure and focus.<br/><br/> About The Winery: For as long as anybody cares to remember, this has been the credo (calling card? Battle cry? Team yell? Coat of arms?) of Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma, California. Expressing our commitment to full-flavored varietal wine — notably Zinfandel — it sums up our mission to capture everything a vineyard has to offer, and to promote it in a way that won't put people to sleep. Wine is, after all, one of the most fascinating and fun things in life, which is why Ravenswood winemaker Joel Peterson believes that it belongs on the table — not on a pedestal or in an ivory tower.<br/><br/> How did the name of Ravenswood become interchangeable with irresistibility? In the early 1970s, when California's claim to fame was the "best jug wine in the world," Joel's dream was to create wines that would rival the greatest of Europe. Turned out he wasn't dreaming: In his first vintage, 1976, he produced 327 cases of Dry Creek Zin that took first place in a prestigious San Francisco tasting. But despite the cult following and critical acclaim that began to swirl around its hypnotic logo, Ravenswood remained a roving boutique until the late 1980s, when its Vintners Blend program was launched. Conceived on Joel's conviction that, besides great wine, the world needs good, affordable wine ("a lake of wine an inch deep"), it redefined the concept of Best Jug Wine in the World.<br/><br/> Thanks to this and a few other things (not least, its tireless campaign against priggish elitism), Ravenswood acquired an informal reputation as the people's premium winery. In 1999 the company went public with a "Dutch auction" of shares offered over the Internet, and two years later Ravenswood was purchased by Constellation Brands, becoming part of its fine-wine division, Franciscan Estates — a productive partnership that kept the winery under Joel's control while providing greater resources for efficient operation and growth.<br/><br/> The picture has changed a bit since 1976. Following the original inspiration of wineries like Ravenswood, California has now shirked its once-wimpy status to a fault. But the more things change around our Sonoma headquarters, the more they stay the same. In this brave new enologically altered world, Ravenswood continues to set a stubborn standard for complex, balanced, uncompromising wine that captures everything a vineyard has to offer (and, we might add, nothing more).<br/><br/> About The Winemaker: Joel Peterson grew up on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay during the Dark Ages when California wine was judged by the type of jug it was bottled in. However, Joel's farsighted father Walter bucked the status quo by starting the San Francisco Wine Sampling Club, which studied fine wines from all over the world. Walter allowed his son to join the group's twice-weekly tastings when Joel was nine years old, carefully measuring the wine in the boy's glass — then his spittoon — to make sure everything was expectorated.<br/><br/> By the time he was a teenager, Joel thus had a working knowledge of European vineyards and vintages, along with a collection of headstrong opinions about what made good wine. After graduating from Oregon State University, he followed in the professional footsteps of his parents (both of whom were chemists), going to work as a laboratory scientist. On the side, he made money through wine writing and consulting, gaining a local reputation as a gifted taster (and tasteless punster).<br/><br/> Eventually it dawned on Joel that he had the background (not to mention the prejudices) to be an actual winemaker. Hence, he apprenticed with Joseph Swan — one of California's outstanding craftsmen of fine Zinfandel — to learn the art of traditional winemaking as practiced in Bordeaux and Burgundy. In 1976 Joel founded Ravenswood in partnership with fellow wine lover Reed Foster (a Harvard MBA gone astray) and over the next half-dozen years, their fledgling operation moved from the rear corner of one willing winery to another. When Ravenswood finally turned a profit after a dozen years of operation, they settled on the northern edge of Sonoma, where the winery's tasting room is located.<br/><br/> Joel is now acknowledged as a leader in California wine — an articulate spokesman and stylistic trendsetter who helped make Zinfandel the runaway phenomenon that it is today. If there were a California Winemaking Hall of Fame, he'd be a shoo-in for early induction — not just as a home-run hitter but as one of the most popular players in the majors. (It's said that even as a Little Leaguer he could handle the spitter with aplomb.)<br/><br/> Technical Analysis: <strong>Vintage:</strong> 2008<br/><br/> <strong>Varietal:</strong> 76% Zinfandel, 24% Petite Sirah<br/><br/> <strong>Appellation:</strong> Sonoma County<br/><br/> <strong>pH:</strong> 3.60<br/><br/> <strong>Aging:</strong> 20 Months, 100% French Oak; 33% New, 32% 1 Year Old<br/><br/> <strong>Ageability:</strong> 7-10 years<br/><br/> <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.5%<br/><br/>
Strong and robust with cherry, cinnamon, and spicy pepper on the nose. Pomegranate flavors, structured tannins well placed. Just like Joel says, "no wimpy wines", and so far I agree.
A very mellow and balanced wine. Have had $40 bottles of wine that weren't half as good.
Very smooth, fantastic flavor and it stands well on its own.
Great flavor and on of my favorite "Old Vine" Zin's. For the price, its unbeatable.
hey, I grabbed a footlong meatball marinara sub from Subway, and stopped by Kroger and saw this on sale for $5.69? (half price!) This wine married with that sub for life! A quality zin, ready to drink, this wine sang a beautiful tune on the back of my throat.
Happy with this Zin blend. I know I enjoy Ravenswood and I'm a sucker for blended anything, so... in the bag it went. Beautiful plum color. Thick, cloying nose. Yes, ok to toffee and jam, per the label. Yes, I'll agree with Stanleygan on the Meatball sub rec. It makes me think of deep red sauce and meat. Mmmmmm... The food pairing I made undoubtably didn't do it justice, but the wine was very nice, just the same, with my *&#$^% (too embarrassed to claim what I had it with) and also alone. Enjoy!!
Satisfactory solid simple flavor. Not much depth. Kind of spicy and and nice dark thick texture.
External Reviews for Ravenswood California Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel
Black raspberry, blueberry and chocolate on the nose. Soft, round and sweet, with flavors of ripe plum and berries. Finishes with slightly edgy tannins. But should be accessible upon release.
Good bright red-ruby. Superripe aromas of blueberry, blackberry, licorice and menthol. Juicy and fresh, with sweet berry and spice flavors and good cut. From vines picked before the early September heat wave.
Deep ruby with a bright rim. High-toned redcurrant and cherry aromas are complemented by tobacco and cocoa powder. Tangy, finely etched red berry flavors take a plummy turn and become sweeter with air. Warm cherry and plum preserve qualities linger nicely on the sappy, slightly spirity finish.
The 1997 Zinfandel Lodi (14.3% alcohol) is an excellent bargain that rivals the Napa bottling. It possesses a deep ruby color, as well as excellent rich blackberry and cherry fruit and soil scents. In the mouth, it is medium to full-bodied, round, attractive, and mouth-filling. Drink it over the next 2-3 years.
This intense Lodi Old Wine Zinfandel, made from low-yielding vines, bursts with concentrated sweet plum, blueberry and spice flavors.
Bright and lively, with juicy plum, black cherry, wild berry, cedar, tar and spice. Turns silky, with well-integrated tannins and crisp acidity. Drink now through 2002.
This is Ravenswood's introductory Zinfandel. A full-bodied red with black berry fruit, cherries, and pepper aromas. If you like this Zin, try the rest of their wines: you'll immediately see the family resemblance.
Food Pairings for Ravenswood California Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel
Ripe, rich and flavorful, Lodi fruit from this vintage was very nice, with the big blueberry quality that is one of the hallmarks of Zinfandel from that region. With the addition of 23% Petite Sirah, the wine is soft, round and full. Very pleasing to drink by itself and with food.