Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 2006
Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
This unique vineyard in Sonoma Valley is an extension of the Oak Hill Organic Farm, owned and operated for many years by the now deceased Otto Teller, a sage octogenarian who employed no pesticides or irrigation. The 110-year-old vines are situated on a gravelly, well-drained hill that receive a full share of summer sun as well as cooling breezes. The crop level is seldom higher than one and a half tons per acre, and this scant tonnage - combined with the ideal growing conditions - produces exceptionally intense, spicy fruit.
A longtime favorite among hard-core Ravenswood fans, the Old Hill vineyard was planted in the 1880`s in the Valley of the Moon, just north of the town of Sonoma. This vineyard is like your most comfortable pair of old shoes - unparalleled. It is wonderfully consistent, from year to year, in its ability to please even the most discriminating palate.
Old Hill Zinfandel is Knockout nose combines sappy black fruits, black pepper and spicy, smoked meats; rather Rhone-like. Silky and sweet in the middle but with terrific flavor definition and cut. This has compellingly intense fruit and a very long, juicy, aromatic aftertaste. Would appear to be an outstanding vintage for this consistently excellent zinfandel bottling.
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red. Powerful, deeply scented bouquet combines fresh red fruits, flowers and Indian spices; turns more pungent with air, picking up a candied floral character that carries onto the palate. Very fresh and silky, with tangy red- and blackcurrant flavors enhanced by building spiciness. The finish will not quit. Already very complex but history says that this wine will richly reward patience. Range: 94-96 "
Wine & Spirits - "Otto Teller of Oak Hill Farm purchased 14 acres of abandoned vineyard across Highway 12 in 1981, a planting of mixed blacks that was about 100 years old at the time. He reclaimed the vines and farmed them naturally (without chemicals), sustaining what is the now the oldest vineyard among Ravenswood's vineyard designates. Those vines produced an expansive wine in 2006, stony, firm and powerful. At first it reads as a block of fruit packed into the tense architecture of its tannins. With air, it becomes finer, more supple, as the complex flavors of the varietal blend begin to show. Cellar this for ten years of more; as a California classic, this will grow only more collectible-and delicious-with long bottle age. "
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. View all Ravenswood Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review44.1 out of 5 stars
6 ratings, 5 with reviewsLuthier Jim - Milford, OH48/31/2010Very nice Zin. Loaded with dark fruit and pepper spice. But this wine NEEDS AIR. It comes out of the bottle very tight, with alcohol and tannin overpowering the fruit. But run through an areator or decanted and left alone for 1/2 hour and this wine blooms and lives up to its rankings. Big, rich and surprisingly dry on the finish. It will benefit from another year or two in the bottle to soften and layer a bit more. Works well with grilled beef and holds up to spicy foods.211/7/2010Over ratedRed w/Attitude - Miami, FL36/29/2011
49/20/2010I was hoping for more magic from this Ravenwood. Happy to drink this zin but lacks substance. For this price point can't go wrong but there are other options out there,Dblessed1 - Laguna Niguel, CA48/31/2010Not a huge Zin lover, I needed some to round out my cellar. I was very impressed with the lighter than-usual notes of pepper and jam, it was actually quite smooth!andrewinvenice - Los Angeles, CA59/1/2010This wine shouldn't (and can't) be confused with other Ravenswood wines -- which while always good, I've never found to be noteworthy or outstanding. This is both. *BE SURE TO DECANT THIS WINE* -- it needs to breath for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Earthy & Spicy