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Ravenswood Belloni Ranch Zinfandel 2014

Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • TP93
  • WE90
14.4% ABV
  • WE91
  • CG95
  • W&S94
  • WE92
  • W&S90
  • CG92
  • W&S91
  • WE91
  • RP91
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Seemingly sweet, this 100% Zinfandel is very round and full with lots of boysenberries, blackberry, and blueberry hints to it. The nice cool climate acidity gives the wine a good balance and structure. Enjoy its long, elegant, spicy finish that fills the palate beautifully.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 93
Tasting Panel
This single vineyard designate combines 25% of other "mixed black" varieties to create a wine that implodes with fruit. On the nose, black cherry, mocha and violets are intense and heady. The floral tones subdue on the palate, dried lilacs, violets and mountain brush meld with blackberry and spiced cedar. The acid keeps it lively through the long finish.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This is a peppery, plummy wine with plenty of grip on the palate. Structured and meaty, it rides its ripeness with ease, showing a taste of vanilla soda on the finish. Mixed black grapes account for 25% of the whole and originate from vines planted around 1900.
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Ravenswood

Ravenswood

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Ravenswood, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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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 their long-standing relationships with over 60 independent grape growers. Vineyards are chosen for their location, age, yield and special flavor characteristics. At Ravenswood, they are devoted to working with growers who share their philosophy about high quality.

Ravenswood Vineyard Designate wines are made employing what 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.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

SWS471896_2014 Item# 237086