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Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 2007

Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
  • CG96
  • WE95
14.8% ABV
  • WE93
  • WE95
  • W&S92
  • W&S95
  • RP92
  • WS90
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4.4 5 Ratings
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4.4 5 Ratings
14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sonoma's first famous Zinfandel, made in 1862 by William Hill, was grown in this vineyard. These vines—probably Sonoma's oldest—turn out remarkable wines. Old Hill Vineyard contains 14 different varieties, butis blended to be 75% Zinfandel. It has Rhone-like intensity with striking precise aromas of blackberry, blackpepper, vanilla, coffee, smoke, and mint.

This 2007 Old Hill Zinfandel is a well-balanced, graceful, complex wine that will age very nicely. The winekeeps unfolding each time you put your nose in the glass. You'll notice an array of scents and flavors in thiswine; most notably mulberry and blackberry, followed by a strikingly pure, focused finish. The wine gainsintensity with air, making it a great wine for an extended, lingering dinner. It is lovely to be consumed nowor put down for years to come.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 96
Connoisseurs' Guide
24% Mixed Blacks. A throwback to another era, this venerable vineyard with its blend of Zinfandel and other varieties has been producing big, rich, deep wines for decades-and this dramatic effort from 2007 is one of the best. It has typically separated itself from its siblings by being the least open of the bunch, and here again, it is not particularly outgoing in aroma but starts with the blackberry focus of the variety and adds layers of rich, complex notes of cocoa, black plums and raspberry preserves and follows through on the palate with tight somewhat polished, balanced flavors that run headlong into the expected edge of astringency at the end. This powerful effort is one to lay away for up to a decade in complete confidence.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
You can quibble with the price, but there's no doubt about the quality of this Zin. It's extraordinarily deeply flavored, offering waves of wild cherries, cola, anise, molé sauce, pepper spice and sandalwood, wrapped into profoundly fine tannins, and with a long, dry finish. Drink this near-perfect Zinfandel over the next six years.
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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 nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both 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 and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

KOE105197_2007 Item# 105197