Tasting Report: Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandels, 2007 Releases
Had the chance to sit down with Ravenswood Winery’s founding winemaker Joel Peterson this week and sample his 2007 old vines lineup. The son of a woman who worked on the atomic bomb and a trained immunologist, Joel is full of stories, but most involve his love of wine, for which he developed a taste practically as a child.
Ravenswood — now a major force for zinfandel in the wine business — sells some simple table wines, but it also markets a wide range of single vineyard designates. Only a few are actually 100% zinfandel; most are blends of a variety of grapes, with zin the predominant one. In fact, my favorite wine of the lot was the 2007 Teldeschi, which includes 22% petite sirah and 2% carignane in the blend. Some of the wines — which are grown throughout Sonoma and Napa Counties — have so many grape varietals that Peterson can’t even be sure what’s in the bottle.
It is, however, mostly zin.
Tasting of (mostly) 2007 Ravenswood Zinfandels
2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Barricia / A- / very tannic, but opens up with perfume notes
2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Belloni / A- /more fruit, with big currant and jam, tart and acidic
2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Big River / B+ /similar to Belloni, with an herbal finish
2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Dickerson / B+ /a bit Cab-like, with pepper and oregano notes, lighter finish
2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Hill / B /woodsy, a bit out of balance
2007 Ravenswood Zinfandel Teldeschi / A /tobacco and cedar notes, heavy petite sirah influence, my favorite of the lot
2006 Ravenswood Zinfandel Pickberry / B+ /a touch bitter on the finish, quite tannic
2007 Ravenswood Icon (field blend, not a zinfandel release) / A- /has an edge, nice balance though
1997 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Hill / A / fascinating old zin, some DNA of the 2007, but oxidized and well aged