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Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 2013

Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • W&S92
  • WE90
750ML / 15.2% ABV
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  • WS93
  • WE90
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750ML / 15.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2013 Old Hill Zinfandel is refined and reserved yet assertive. It displays aromas of red fruit, dried flowers, anise and bramble spice. It has firm but very fine tannins, leading to a long enjoyable finish and also contributing to the terrific aging potential of this wine.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Old Hill Vineyard—one of the oldest in Sonoma County, planted in 1885—was covered in brush when Otto Teller purchased it in 1981. Rather than ripping out the vines, he cleared the weeds and blackberry canes and began selling the fruit to Joel Peterson at Ravenswood, who has bottled an Old Hill Zinfandel for more than 30 years. This is a vintage worth laying down; the old zin vines and other sundry varieties, including grenache, grew a muscular red that carries a suggestion of ferny undergrowth in its cool, minty aroma. The wine tastes of fruit skin rather than oak or alcohol, with a dark-berried intensity that should keep it in good form for ten years or more.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This blend of 75% Zinfandel and 25% mixed blacks has a lingering back beat of menthol and mint that interweaves with more tantalizing elements of white pepper and leather saddle. Made in a relatively restrained style, it stays softly layered throughout a long finish.
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Ravenswood

Ravenswood

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Ravenswood, 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.

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Sonoma Valley

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Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.

It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.

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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 Valley, 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 specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 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.

SOU401421_2013 Item# 413039