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Senior Tim Fish joined the Wine Spectator staff in 2001. His tasting beat includes Oregon, Washington, California Zinfandel and Rhône-style reds, and U.S. sparkling wines.
Tim Fish

A Zinfandel with a Sense of Place

Ravenswood Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine 2007

Tim Fish
Posted: February 23, 2011

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.

Joe Dekeyser
Waukesha, WI —  February 23, 2011 10:46am ET
Zinfandel, in general, is finally getting its due. Great reflection on the 20th century jug wine all grown up.
Tim Fish
Santa Rosa, CA —  February 23, 2011 4:03pm ET
Agreed Joe, thanks for reading.
Homer Cox
Warrenton, VA —  February 23, 2011 4:46pm ET
Tim- We bought a case of the 2007 RW Sonoma County OV last year and when I was stacking I noticed 3 bottles of 2006 RW Napa OV somehow got mixed in. Both are very good for $13.

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