2011 Ravenswood "Teldeschi" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel (Elsewhere $30+)

SKU #1154606 94 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Ravenswood takes its accustomed place at the head of the class with its collection of single-vineyard offerings from 2011, and, among the many of a very good lot, the Teldeschi bottling wins top honors once again. Leading with a sweetly perfumed nose of dark berries and briar with highlights of stony soil lending it a singular complexity all its own, the wine comes across as serious and even somewhat brooding on the palate, and, while fairly sturdy, it is never severe. It is as deep as or deeper than most Zins we have yet tasted from the vintage, and there is not an ounce of fat to found on its well-muscled frame. It can only improve in the decade to come.  (1/ 2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky ruby. Heady, mineral-tinged aromas of blackberry, cassis, Smoky Indian spices and potpourri. Weighty and chewy in texture initially, then more lively and velvety in the mid-palate, offering sweet black and blue fruit flavors and a sexy violet pastille nuance. Shows excellent concentration with no excess weight thanks to bright acidity that lifts the long, spice-accented finish.  (5/ 2014)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 The oldest vines in this zinfandel, petite sirah and carignane blend date to 1913 and 1919, planted on western-facing slopes of Dry Creek Valley benchland. That western exposure contributes to the sense of ripeness in the wine, but the old vines have sustained freshness in their fruit to keep it balanced. It smells like roasted meats and cherry skin, presenting its earthiness with frisky energy that leaves the mouth feeling clean and tasting good. The lovely richness will meld with slow-smoked beef ribs. (3,300 cases)  (2/ 2014)

K&L Notes

The Teldeschi Vineyard is comprised of 30 acres of vines planted between 1913 and 1919 in the gravelly clay loam of the Dry Creek bench. Ravenswood has purchased grapes from this distinguished old-vine vineyard since their earliest days in the 1970s, and now they are the benefactors of all of the fruit every year. Comprised of 78% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, and 4% Alicante Bouschet, the wine is fermented on native yeast before being aged for 19 months in 30% new French oak barrels. From the winery: "The 2011 Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel exhibits powerful aromas of black cherries, blackberry, coffee, vanilla, and exotic orange Bergamot spices to create the classic character of a great Dry Creek benchland Zinfandel. The palate is ripe with sweet cherry and licorice and a dense, spicy, mouthwatering finish."

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Price: $22.99

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Varietal:

Zinfandel

- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.8