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2014 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel

SKU #1230368

Valravn is a small project by the folks behind Banshee Wines, with one clear mission: helping the Zinfandel grape live up to its potential glory. Their dry-farmed, bush-pruned vines range from 50 to 105 years old. Made by hand on a small scale, these wines are the antithesis to the jammy mass-produced Zins you can often find on the market. From the winery: "Layers of richness and complexity wrap around a core of wild strawberry and raspberry. Intoxicating aromatics with scents of mocha, espresso roast, violets and ripe red berries. Rich on the palate with flavors of raspberry, blackberry compote, and hints of licorice-laced black pepper. Valravn shows the weight of top quality dry-farmed Zinfandel, balanced by a the freshness that is the hallmark of these ancient vines."

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/14/2017 | Send Email
This is an elegant, yet concentrated interpretation of a Sonoma County Zinfandel, a varietal that is commonly understood to be somewhat of an exhibitionist. Valravn is brought to us by the folks at Banshee, who are known for crafting quality wines from exceptionally good fruit, at smart price points. The 2014 Valravn Old Vine Zinfandel is right in line with the Banshee philosophy, made from Dry Creek and Sonoma vines, some of which have seen over 100 years on this planet. Let them tell you their story!

Staff Image By: Morgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/29/2017 | Send Email
Made from the same folks who produce Banshee (one of my favorite California producers), this Zinfandel has made me a convert. I'm typically not one to pick up a bottle of Zinfandel, but this is one that surprised me. It's got lift and freshness. There are a lot darker fruit notes such as plum compote and stewed black cherries along with some complexity coming from baking spice, pepper and cocoa to make things interesting. This is the wine you want for BBQ's this summer!

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/4/2017 | Send Email
A Zinfandel that truly surprises. Classic in expression with notes of ripe plum, strawberry jam, raspberry, and violets. On the palate, the wine is full bodied with an elevated acidity that is certainly welcome. Flavors of dark cherry and dried berries intermingle with subtle hints of cocoa, cinnamon and sweet tobacco. For under $20, this is a steal.

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2017 | Send Email
I recall a winemaker once explaining how difficult Zinfandel could be to grow since the grape clusters tend to ripen unevenly, with some grapes still mostly green while others had started to raisin. I have always thought that the best California Zins seem to capture the essence of this phenomenon, being both tart and richly sweet all at once. The new 2014 Valravn Old Vine Sonoma County Zinfandel hits all the marks with lively acidity and rich, sweet dark fruit. Superb varietal typicity here and an absolutely delicious bottle of wine.

Staff Image By: Anthony Gittings | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/6/2017 | Send Email
This is a Zinfandel that is worth every penny. Strawberries and raspberries are layered with chocolate and a hint of coffee, just for fun. A full bodied and rich wine that would go great with BBQ or roasted vegetables.

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/19/2016 | Send Email
A fantastically rich, energetic, complex, and bright CA classic through and through. Our close friends over at Banshee Wines have given us another huge value driven Zinfandel to enjoy all year. Fresh strawberry and mountain berry flavors, amazing concentration with a nice cocoa/nutmeg note and texture. The balance, generosity, and great floral scented nose make this my new go-to Zinfandel.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2016 | Send Email
Born and bottled in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, this rustic, dry-farmed ancient vine Zinfandel reminds me of why I moved to California almost forty years ago, in search of those intangible truths that can only be found in the cultivated company of rare friends over a good bottle of wine. Zinfandel is and always will be a grape that expresses itself with passionate intensity and it’s such a pleasure to discover that some folks (the Banshee guys) are still making it like I remember it from the 1970s, those special wines of character, purity and harmony that leave their imprint on the mind as well as the palate. And reading up on the mythological origins of the 'Valravn' can chill one's bones, as it depicts a monstrous raven who scours the bloody battlefields of Danish lore in search of fresh meat. Never thee mind, all this delicious wine does is slay your mortal thirst, my ravenous friends!

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/29/2016 | Send Email
A bright and spicy style of Zin. Full and rich on the palate but with pop and lift that you don't always see from the varietal.

Staff Image By: Jason Charles | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/30/2015 | Send Email
Absolutely new project from the guys over at Banshee Wines. 100% Zinfandel sourced from a number of historic vineyards throughout Sonoma County. Lush dark fruit, spice and soft tannins round out this elegant wine.
Top Value!

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Additional Information:



- 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.


- 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.
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 (%): 14.7