Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 1998
Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 1998
(search item no. 24264)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 96 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A relative newcomer to the Ravenswood stable (the 1994 vintage was our first, adorned with the Sonoma Sesquicentennial label), this vineyard in the Alexander valley region of Sonoma County yields Zinfandel fruit with classic rich, ripe berry flavors and peppery spice. Produced in typical Ravenswood fashion (natural yeast fermentation with the cap punched down by hand 3-5 times daily and aged 16+ months in French oak) this wine is certainly big in flavor and texture, but the bright, racey acidity keeps it from seeming heavy or ponderous. To enjoy as a relatively mature wine, one could allow 3-8 additional years of cellaring.
My Notes:

About Ravenswood:

Fueled initially by the inspiration and winemaking skills of Joel Peterson, aided and abetted by his business partner W. Reed Foster, Ravenswood winery has been dedicated to top quality, hand-crafted wine since the first crush in 1976. Every Ravenswood wine carries a unique vintage and vineyard identity in addition to the intense powerful – gothic – character with which the winery has come to be associated.

A key to Ravenswood’s success is our long-standing relationships with over 60 independent grape growers. Vineyards are chosen for their location, age, yield and special flavor characteristics. At Ravenswood, we are devoted to working with growers who share our philosophy about high quality.

Ravenswood Vineyard Designate wines are made employing what winemaker Joel Peterson refers to as “stubborn and impractical” Old World enological practices. Wines are fermented in small wooden tanks using wild, natural yeasts and punched down by hand three to five times per day. The wines are characterized by intense, spicy aromas supported by rich, berry flavors and long, clean finishes.