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Flat front label of wine

Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2006

Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
  • WE92
  • W&S92
15.7% ABV
  • WS91
  • WE90
  • CG90
  • CG93
  • CG96
  • RP91
  • RP90
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3.4 10 Ratings
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3.4 10 Ratings
15.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2006 vintage of Big River Zinfandel expresses the most pure characteristics of old vine Zinfandel with a combination of concentration, complexity, and a richness that is unsurpassable. This wine is big, round, and berry filled, with almost a hint of dill, yet filled with jammy and raspberry characteristics. You'll notice immediately the spicy, plumy character of this particular wine in the nose. Its soft, round, plumy flavors are the essence of old vines expressing their "old vineness."

"Bright ruby. Sexy, pungent aromas of cassis, blackberry and Asian spices. Deep, sweet and sappy, offering round, supple dark berry preserve flavors and good spicy snap. Impressively balanced for such a rich wine, with outstanding finishing sweetness and length."
-International Wine Cellar 92-94

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A gorgeous wine, the best Big River that Ravenswood has ever produced. Has everything you want in a Zinfandel. It displays rich, peppery blackberry and currant fruit, splendid tannins, crisp acidity, fine dryness and a long, impressive finish. The high alcohol is not out of place.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
From vines planted in the 1890's on benchlands between the Alexander and Russian River Valley's, Big River produced a fat zin in 2006. The stalwart structure allows it to expand into a juicy middle, where the deep mineral tannins are saturated by the floral black fruit before they tighten up around it. Decant a bottle for roast lamb.
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Ravenswood

Ravenswood

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Ravenswood, 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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa County, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimen of the vine and acted as the source of its importation to New England by George Gibbs, probably in 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

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, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

CWW17516F_2006 Item# 96889