2012 Ravenswood "Belloni" Russian River Valley Zinfandel
*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.
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.
*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)