While many stores have pushed the Halloween décor aside in favor of jamming commercial Christmas down our throats, I’m not letting go of the Halloween spirit (pun intended) until November 1. Ghost, goblin and witch season ranks right up there with Christmas for me. I love being scared, as long as there is no true reason to be frightened. You won’t find any eye of newt or lizard tails in these wines but they will leave you bewitched, Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 and Big River Single Vineyard Zinfandel.
Ravenswood Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel 2009
Spicy pepper, blueberry and strawberry aromas. Flavors of blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and vanilla mingle with well balanced acids and tannins.
The wine is part of the CountySeries showcasing the finest winegrowing regions in SonomaCounty.
Varietal – 84% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, 2% Mixed Blacks
Region – Sonoma County – 44% Dry Creek Valley, 23% Sonoma Valley, 22% Alexander Valley, 11% Russian River Valley
TA – 6.1 g/L
pH – 3.70
Alcohol – 14.5%
Ageability – Drink now or cellar 5-7 years
SRP – $15.99
Big River Single Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
Aromas of ripe plum, spice, cherry and strawberry licorice. Soft cassis, plum and vanilla flavors with a long oak finish.
While in Sonoma in 2010 I had the opportunity to visit the Big River Vineyard and sip wine amongst the grape vines. Of all the single vineyards visited on that trip, BigRiver is the only one that is simply a vineyard. No house, no buildings, it was just my group, Joel Peterson, the grapes and servers handing us delicious wine.
Varietal – 100% Zinfandel
TA – 7.1 g/L
pH – 3.27
Alcohol – 15%
Ageability – Drink now or cellar 7-10 years
Production – 1,300 cases
Aged 20 mos in 100% French oak, 35% new oak
SRP – $35
The raven represents a symbol of mystical wisdom and to some gloom and foreboding. During his first harvest, Joel Peterson, head winemaker, arrived at Dry Creek Vineyards to pick up his truck and the freshly harvested old vine Zinfandel grapes. Upon arrival he found the truck had not been loaded but instead the boxes of grapes had been left through out the four acre vineyard. As Joel struggled to gather all the boxes, a thunderstorm emerged in the distance. The race was on now to gather all the grapes and get them to the truck before the storm hit. During this time, two ravens perched themselves in the vineyard and watched the activity, all the while seeming to mock Joel and his efforts. I imagine they were waiting for their turn at those tasty grapes. It was that night, once all the grapes were loaded and in the crushing process, Joel decided to name his winery Ravenswood.
While those ravens may have seemed menacing, they may have been predicting the success Joel would find with his wines. This is the symbolism I prefer to believe.
So, sharpen your fangs, grab your broom and hose the cobwebs off the hearse. Halloween is a scrumptious time to enjoy some favorite blood red wines.
Follow me on: