Terroir is a word that’s hard to get your hands around. It’s a French term that covers a lot of territory: the soil, climate and topography. Put simply, it’s a sense of place. That’s exactly what I tasted recently in Ravenswood’s Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine 2007, from an impressive vintage for California Zin.
I was having one of those where-did-the-day-go Saturday evenings. I was hanging with my preteen son, who can eat his weight in pasta, so I threw together something with chicken, mozzarella and tomato sauce that we could both live with. Then for myself, I casually opened the Ravenswood, an excellent buy for $16.
The wine tasted like Sonoma: zesty and briary, with cherry and licorice aromas and balanced flavors of pepper and toasty sage. I gave it 90 points, non-blind. Ravenswood draws on sites from around the county, but winemaker Joel Peterson tells me that a big source of the wine is Dry Creek Valley’s Teldeschi Vineyards, which also provide grapes for one of the winery’s single-vineyard Zinfandels.
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for recently rated Top Values among California Zinfandel.