Thursday, August 30, 2007

2004 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel

This wine was supposed to participate in my Zinful evening - I wanted to compare this pricier Ravenswood offering to the cheaper Vintners Blend - but three bottles in one evening? I am not a college student anymore! As a result of my delay, Sonadora beat me to the punch on this wine, but I couldn't finish American Wine Month without one more Zin.

The 2004 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel comes from the Sonoma appellation. Bright cherry red, almost purple, this wine was slow to give up its secrets. The nose started all leather and blackberry fruit, very spicy, but later revealed hints of violet, mint, cedar, oak, vanilla and pistachio nuts (?). This was a powerful wine on the palate - big, dry, bitter tannins - what I imagine chewing tobacco to taste like (never tried it) - but the fruit was more modest than the nose led me to believe. Unfortunately, the heat from the alcohol mixed with big tannins made for an awkward wine. While I took Sonadora's suggestion and decanted the wine, I think it will need some cellar time time to sort itself out (but I am not certain of that). From my perspective, save some $ and go for the Vintners Blend Zin - it is ready now, lower in alcohol, and much cheaper.
14.5% alcohol
Score: 17/20
Price: C$29.60 (SAQ)

PS - Note the price above vs. the price Sonadora paid - a tragedy!


Marcus said...

Same bottle, twice the price! It's like retail v. restaurant prices. This is why I have been a reluctant participant in American Wine Month, dude. Too expensive! Even the vintner's blend Zin has an elevated price.

As an SAQ shopper, I'll stick with SW France, the Loire and Midi, with attention to re-developing Italian wine regions and bargain European whites from all points in between.

A valiant effort nonetheless, Joe!

Joe said...

Hey Marcus - yeah, it has been an expensive month. No need to participate - I can spot you. I understand your thoughts on SW, etc. Speaking of which, I have Brumont wines we need to get through. I think I will go on a Euro-Bender this month - any suggestions?

Sonadora said...

Overall, I wasn't too sure about this one either Joe. I'm sorry decanting didn't help. Makes me think cellaring wouldn't do much good either.

David said...

I'm a big Ravenswood zin fan in general, a visit to the winery was one of my first and helped pique my wine interest. Don't know that I've tried this bottle. I did a similar comparison of their zins at 3 levels awhile back...the Teldeschi single vineyard old vine, their Lodi zin and the blend. The Teldeschi and other single vineyard's of theirs are worth the treat in my book.

Joe said...

Hi Sonadora - let's just say I didn't stash that one away (especially at that price). Love the Vinters Blend, though.
Hi David - I will try the Teldeschi and Lodi when I visit the winery next month.