2012 Ravenswood "Belloni" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1202541 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Three Stars* One of our favorite Ravenswood Bellonis to date, this immensely appealing effort is absolutely brimming with very pure, keenly varietal, berry-like fruit, and, while is does not stint on ripeness, neither is it defined by it. It is moderately full-bodied and solidly structured with plenty of flesh and not a hint of extra fat. It is so forthright and juicy that it can be enjoyed in its youth, but, make no mistake, this one is guaranteed to repay keeping and should grow for years.  (1/2015)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 Ravenswood winemaker Joel Peterson has worked with Belloni Vineyard since 1991, a site planted around 1900 with an unusually high proportion of mixed blacks, particularly the red-fleshed Alicante Bouschet. In 2012, the vines produced the apotheosis of Russian River Zin: a cool, minty aroma sets the tone, sinking through layers of refreshing blue fruit, savory sage and olive skin toward tannins that feel pulled from fissures in rock. It’s Zinfandel at its most sophisticated and cool rather than sweet and obvious, a wine to lay down for a decade or more as it ages toward silky, pristine integration.  (2/2015)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* This wine is tannic and leathery and yet at the same time austere, revealing its historic vineyard roots. A blend of 75% Zinfandel and 25% Mixed Blacks, the property is thought to have been planted around 1900. Blueberry, earth and cinnamon-cardamom spice combine to beautiful, layered effect... (VB)  (6/2015)

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Price: $27.99
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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.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.4