The Wine Idiot Reviews: Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel, 2013 ($8.99)
CONFESSION: I bought this wine at Target. It was on sale, I know they sell it at Trader Joe's, and I read about it in an article called "Great Value Red Wine You've Probably Never Tried (but Should)." HOW COULD I PASS IT BY???
It looks like it sells at Trader Joe's from $7.99-9.99, so the Target sale price was right on...well...target. Heh heh.
AND BOY AM I GLAD I BOUGHT THIS because it absolutely lives up to the hype!!
Let me preface this whole thing by saying I'm on a calorie-counting diet, and I was planning on drinking exactly ONE glass of this. After one sip, I was frantically calculating how many calories half the bottle would be. It's THAT tasty!
It's almost fragrant-tasting, I'm not sure how to describe it. Maybe this is what people say they taste when they identify "notes of juniper" or whatever. But it's alllllmost like there are notes of some mysterious perfume lurking in the corners of this wine.
It's more tannin-y than a pinot noir, and it's the first zinfandel I've had where I actually appreciated that. There are hints of jam on the finish--berry notes are not exactly what I tasted up top, but they are definitely there as the taste dances away on your palate. It never gets too mouth-puckery like most cheap reds--I feel like if you really enjoy expensive tannin-y reds this would probably be a good cheap option!
And finally, it's great with cheese--not my usual Spanish tapas sampler because of this STUPID DIET, but a reduced-fat Swiss cheese slice that barely counted as cheese let's-be-honest. It wasn't as fantastic with my Lean Cuisine Cheese Lasagna, and I'll be finishing the bottle tonight just on its own.
What the bottle says: "Ravenswood wines are big and unapologetic--crafted for those who refuse to flock to the latest fad. For 30 years we've believed AUTHENTICITY, CRAFT & CHARACTER [sic] always trump the latest trend. Experience what a true Zinfandel is meant to be. Our Zin is a ROBUST red, brimming with MOUTHWATERING flavors of SPICY ripe raspberry, cherry and boysenberry."
What the Wine Idiot says: Bold rejection of the oxford comma, Ravenswood. You ARE a rebel. As for the description, I actually think it doesn't do this bottle justice. I would anticipate it to be far more fruity/jammy than it actually is, and I LOVE that it's not just another boring alcoholic fruit juice.
ABV: 13.5%, so you know I'll have fun on Facebook tonight.
Who's responsible for this? "Vinted and bottled by Ravenswood Winery, Acampo, CA"
Do I need a corkscrew? Yessir.
What do smarter people say about it? Natalie Maclean declares this to be a "delightful duck wine!" She continues: "Juicy, smooth and supple Californian Zin, with fleshy black plums and blackberries and just enough of a smoky weave. Perfect for barbecued meats." Oddly, she has the price listed at $17.95. Maybe this is a SUPER GREAT TJ's deal.
Should I bring it to a friend's house? I don't think you could go wrong with this one.