Zen of Zin Old Vine Zinfandel
“No wimpy wines- for as long as anybody cares to remember, this has been the of Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma, California. Expressing our commitment to full-flavored varietal wine — notably Zinfandel — it sums up our mission to capture everything a vineyard has to offer, and to promote it in a way that won't put people to sleep. Wine is, after all, one of the most fascinating and fun things in life”, which is why Ravenswood winemaker Joel Peterson believes that it belongs on the table — not on a pedestal or in an ivory tower.
Thanks to this and a few other things (not least, its tireless campaign against priggish elitism), Ravenswood acquired an informal reputation as the people's premium winery. In 1999 the company went public with a "Dutch auction" of shares offered over the Internet, and two years later Ravenswood was purchased by Constellation Brands, becoming part of its fine-wine division, Franciscan Estates — a productive partnership that kept the winery under Joel's control while providing greater resources for efficient operation and growth.
In the wine commerce of France, a crucial role has long been played by a person called a negociant. Part merchant, part winemaker, and part tasting wizard, a negociant travels an appellation — literally and figuratively — sampling wines made by various vintners, selecting examples that suit his own house style. Choosing this one for ripeness, that one for tannin, another for acidity to enliven fruit, an expert negociant can create a beautifully balanced wine from others that, shall we say, lack absolute nobility. Legions of growers and winemakers depend for survival on these master blenders, whose names and labels include some of the most famous and respected names in wine. They might not be able to turn H2O into Grand Cru, but they typically take enological dross and weave it into liquid gold. Hence the suffix sometimes used to describe the alchemical effect of their skill: negociant-eleveur.
This wine is made by Ravenswood of course, a Zinfandel trend setter. The fruit is sourced from old vines which benefits Zinfandel grapes especially well. The bouquet is fresh with hints of vanilla (oak), dark red fruit including plum and a distinctive aroma of coffee. On the palate there are flavors of chocolate, toffee and blackberry jam. This Zinfandel is a very easy to like style, nicely balanced by the fresh berry fruit. It is a nice red for the summer barbeque season, it will compliment just about anything from the grill. It can be served slightly cool at or a little below room temperature.