It’s been three years since we’ve sat down with Ravenswood and its surprisingly exhaustive lineup of Zinfandels. Best known for its sub-$10 Vintners Blend, the winery produces a wide range of Zins, including seven single-vineyard designates. We got our hands on two of the “Old Vine” wines from 2010 and four of the single vineyard wines from 2009 to see how things were shaping up for the winery. Thoughts follow.
2010 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi – Brighter and very, very fruity. Big maraschino-style cherry sweetness. Slight tobacco character comes across on the finish. Typical of Lodi Zins. B / $10
2010 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Vine Napa Valley – A smoky, funky wine. The nose is packed with tobacco notes. Lots of baking spices lead to a simple and somewhat thin but jam-filled finish. B- / $20
2009 Ravenswood Zinfandel Teldeschi Vineyard Dry Creek Valley – Very Port-like, with strong extracted prune/dark plum flavors. Some black cherry on the nose, with a finish that speaks to chocolate, tobacco, and leather. B+ / $35
2009 Ravenswood Zinfandel Dickerson Vineyard Napa Valley – Dry at first, with heavy Tawny Port character building in the glass. Lots of tobacco and oxidized fruit flavors. Woodier than other expressions in this lineup. B / $35
2009 Ravenswood Zinfandel Big River Vineyard Alexander Valley – A cryptic wine, with smoky tobacco notes on the nose but tons of fruit beneath it. Plenty of jammy character, with a spiciness that many of these wines are lacking. Probably my favorite of this Single Vineyard seris. A- / $35
2009 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Hill Single Vineyard Sonoma Valley – Classic Zinfandel structure, with lots of fruit and brooding bramble, tobacco, and leather undertones. More coffee-inflected than other expressions, with a dusty, somewhat chalky finish. Great for a cold day. A- / $60