2011 Ravenswood "Old Hill" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1159553 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky ruby. A complex bouquet presents dark fruit liqueur, licorice, violet and fruitcake, with a smoky overtone and a hint of black pepper. Stains the palate with sappy boysenberry and cherry-cola flavors that spread out on the back half and pick up a suave floral pastille nuance. Dusty tannins build through a sweet, strikingly persistent finish brightened by a vibrant, spicy jolt of peppery spices. I suspect that this will be the longest-lived of this year's set of Zins here, but I don't think that it will take forever to unfold, either. (ST)  (5/2014)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Two Stars* Ravenswood Old Hill bottlings are typically the toughest and the least outwardly fruity of the bunch, and, if arguably a bit fruitier than usual, this years' version comes with all of the structured solidly we expect. It a deep and decidedly complex offering with lots of briary spice and suggestions of stony soil to the side of its concentrated, dark berry aspects, and it is as always a brooding wine whose tannic frame tags it as one needing age. Some four or five years would seem the minimal wait, but it will be going strong for a good many more.  (1/2014)

Wine & Spirits

 Originally planted in 1862 by William Hill, this vineyard sustains some of Sonoma’s oldest vines. Nearly 150 years later, those mixed blacks (76 percent Zinfandel) produced a bright, tangy wine with wild tannins. Its texture is mellowed by a resinous character, like eucalyptus oil. Decant it for braised boar.  (2/2014)

Wine Spectator

 The cherry, spice and herb aromas lead to focused plum and herb flavors. Drink now through 2018. (Web-2014)

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Price: $34.99

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- 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.

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.


- 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.
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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 (%): 14.9