Skip to main content

Hot to Trot: Ravenswood: 2007 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

Join Our Wine Club or Give a Gift Membership
International Wine of the Month Club
Great Holiday gift idea!
"Things got bad, and things got worse, I guess you know the tune, stuck in Old Lodi again", the jist of the lyrics about the sleepy little town of Lodi.  From the iconic music group [CCR] Creedence Clearwater Revival, who apparently had some loathing about being in Lodi [or just small towns in general].

Lodi has changed quite a bit since the bad old days of being stuck in Old Lodi again and in fact it's something to look forward to, as a thriving wine industry has grown up and come to fruition around "old vine" Zinfandel. Old vine Zin has become hot-to-trot for many thirsting for ripe, rich opulent wines that really deliver on on the name, Old Vine. But it's not just old vine Zinfandel making the impact, it's Zinfandel in general that really has many folks paying attention to this area and for some very good reasons, the Zinfandel is fan-freaking-tastic [trust me, this is a real word] and the prices are reasonable [Nuff said].

If you plan to visit Lodi Wine Country, a great place to set up as your base of operations would be Wine and Roses. This is a bed and breakfast and premium hotel all wrapped up into one neat winetastic package. Elegant and refined, down to earth and so much to offer the traveling oenophile [lover of the vine].  The have an afters hours bar, with an deep wine list. They also boast a Lodi tasting room where you are able to swirl, sniff and slurp your way through 5-10 different local [with a minimal fee] wineries juice and even buy said juice if you are so inclined to as well. So if you wanted to just stop over for a day, before heading up to Highway 29. Please do yourself a favor and stop-by one [newly acquired] my all time favorites along the way [not to be missed]. I recommend staying a few days just to drink in the fabulous down home wonderfulness that is Wine and Roses and exploring first hand many of the great wineries of Lodi. While there, you may also want to check out the winetastic area of Calveras County and just a bit further the Sierra Foothills wait for the adventurous wine nut.

Now onto the review, another stunner from my friends at Ravenswood whose own base of operations is in Sonoma, just north of Lodi. Folks if you're not familiar with this label, do yourself a favor especially if you like Zinfandel, give them a swirl. You won't be disappointed.

Old Vines: Old vine Zin has become quite a cliched term in the wine world as of late and since there is no legal definition to meet in order for it to appear on the label as such, there's some big-time stretching of credulity in applying this term [so buyer beware]. If you would like to see more conversation on this debate on what exactly constitutes "old-vine" Zinfandel, please click here. Personally, it's my opinion that the "vines" should be 40 years or older to qualify to be defined as "old vine" Zinfandel and that there should be a legal definition that enforces that time frame.

However, according to Ravenswood Winery this Zinfandel easily qualifies [agreed] as "Old-Vine" because it's drawn from two distinct vineyards in the Lodi appellation. The 100 year old Kettleman Road Vineyard provides roughly 75% of the blend, resulting in thick, rich, concentrated blueberry fruit and soft spice. While the remainder of the fruit is grown on the 35 year old Perrin Vineyard, which provides bright, lively berry flavors hinting at raspberry [does all that and more]. This wine spent 12 months maturating in a combination of new and used French oak barrels which has contributed to the rounding out and fattening of flavors, which is evidenced by the first pour [no aerators needed].  Just give it a few good swirls, to release all those wonderful aromas and flavors and enjoy.

Swirly, Sniffed and Slurp: This wine is definitely "Hot to Trot", in the glass you a big dollop of  garnet colored goodness. On the nose, it boasts enticing aromas of blueberry/blackberry pie and toastiness. Oh man on the palate you'll find a ripe bruiser, yet with an underlying sense of structure and finesse accented by concentrated plum, licorice and oh so subtle smoky peppery flavors that are wrapped around well integrated tannins. This wine really delivers on the name too, I think I can taste a century of goodness in each sip.

Pairing Suggestions: Prosciutto Sage crusted Pork Tenderloin, some roasted butternut squash [dash of baking spices, brown sugar and butter] and a side of freshly steamed broccoli. I've had this pairing on more than one occasion and [IMHO] it's yumtastic [no really this a real word]!

Price and Where to Buy: Well I checked Bevmo and it appears that while they traditionally have a wide selection of Ravenswood, they only have the 2008 Lodi Old Vine Zin and not the one I reviewed here today, which they are selling for $14.99 and on-sale for $9.99 each [a killer buy at that price]. However, if you wanted to purchase the 2007 which I recommend that you do, then I've only been able to find a few online purveyors who sell it for $17.99 each, a few dollars more than the SRP, plus shipping.

Full Disclosure: This wine was sent as a "Sample" for the review process. No compensation is given for writing a positive review or even a review at all. Each wine sent is judged on it's own merits and I let the chips fall where they may.

Label Lingo: In case this obscure part of the label is of interest to you, this wine was "Vinted and Bottled" by Ravenswood Winery, Sonoma, Ca.

What's the Score: I gave this wine 91 points on the CCWB 100 point scale. This wine represents extraordinary QPR and has wide availability. If this same wine was made from fruit in Dry Creek, you'd be looking at a $30 price point easily [since land prices do play a factor in the price of wine].

My Recommendation: This is the kind of wine that should represent an "easy" buy decision. A run don't walk and grab as many as you possibly can, case buying kind of wine. So if you see some of this wine hanging around a Bevmo or your favorite wine shop, grocery store or what have you, buy them all if you can. This wine is everything you would expect in an old vine zin and then some.


Popular posts from this blog

Champagne Uncorked: A Visit to Champagne Louis Roederer

“I'll drink your champagne. I'll drink every drop of it, I don't care if it kills me.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby Girls
My first trip to Champagne, was for me, a complete success. I came away from the trip with a brand new appreciation and a deeper desire to get to know it so much better. With each trip to France, I come away with a profound new respect for the country and its people. I've become a Francophile. A place, I barely knew or understood twelve years ago, back before I started this wine journey I'm currently on. I know this will sound cliched, but I like to think of wine as a journey, it's not a destination.

Each stone you overturn on the pathway to discovery develops greater understanding and appreciation not only for the wine but for the great folks behind these labels, who bring great traditions and passion to the table. It's evident in what they say, how they say it and oh-so-evident in the final product, passion is a sure 'seller' a…

Five Last-Minute Thanksgiving Wine Buys

"The three things that make a vineyard great are the climate, the soil, and the exposure. Bien Nacido Vineyard ~ James Ontiveros  

Another wonderful year is nearly ready to put in the can and stored away for posterity. But every year at this time we collectively take the time-out to give a "thanks" for our many blessings.Every year at this time, I give my Top Five Thanksgiving Holiday Wine 'picks' and this year is no exception. I know my post is a bit "danger" close for those wanting to stock up for the holiday, but this short and sweet guide is for the procrastinators who've waited for the last minute to hear about five Oregon Pinot Noir selections to brighten up their holiday menus for Thursdays big feast. 

The Willamette Valley in Oregon is known as a 'mecca' of sorts, where powerful, yet delicate, soulful Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay is grown, fermented, aged and bottled. I've recently become a resident of this state, much t…

A Spoonful of Social Media

“You can buy attention [advertising]. You can beg for attention from the media [PR], or you can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” –David Meerman Scott, Best-Selling Author & Speaker

It was just about four years ago in downtown Paso Robles that Mrs. Cuvee and I were visiting the area, which we try to do as often as possible. We love to hit the wine trail nice and early, but before we head out for the day, we make it a point to have a big breakfast. Since we were staying at the Paso Robles Inn, we thought we'd have breakfast there at least once, the food was tasty, the service was excellent, and the coffee was hot. 

Just one thing was missing that morning; there were no spoons, yes you heard me right, not even a single spoon anywhere to stir cream and sugar into my coffee. We looked at the tables behind us, nothing, we looked into the server station, t…