2011 Ravenswood "Old Hill" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
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)
*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.
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.
The cherry, spice and herb aromas lead to focused plum and herb flavors. Drink now through 2018. (Web-2014)