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Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • W&S94
  • WE92
13.7% ABV
  • WW92
  • W&S94
  • W&S91
  • WE94
  • WE90
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13.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Pickberry is dark and dense in appearance withperfumed, ripe Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, andPetit Verdot aromas. Scents of red currant, cured tobacco leaf,and musk herald the chewy cassis flavors that highlight theimpressively dense, spicy, mineral-driven, and remarkablysoft floral finish.

Blend: 59% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this latest release starts out black, generously tannic in scents of mushrooms and pine, with a grand red fruit presence that plumps up in the glass. Over the course of several days, the wine gains energy, its initial richness turning silky, its tannins spicy fresh as they rocket the fruit past the horizon line. Cellar this for ten years to get the most out of the bottle.
WE 92
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Ravenswood

Ravenswood

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Ravenswood, Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, 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 Mountain

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Defined more by altitude than geographical outline, the Sonoma Mountain appellation occupies elevations between 400 and 1,200 feet on the northern and eastern slopes of the actual Sonoma Mountain and is part of the greater Sonoma Valley appellation. The mountain reaches 2,400 feet, its hills separating the cooling winds of Petaluma Gap from the Sonoma Valley.

On a cooler western flank, Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Syrah enjoy a great deal of success. Vineyards on its warmer, eastern side, interspersed with heavily forested areas, tend to include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, and Syrah. Given its complexity of topography and mesoclimates, Sonoma Mountain excels with a wide range of grape varieties.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

HOR207384_2008 Item# 120005