Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel

By | January 11, 2008

One of the good things about visiting the USA is the plentiful supply of Zinfandel. This can lead to over-buying, which can be a bad thing, but it also means that bottles lurk in the basement, ready for any occasion. I recently had a Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 2001 which had been resting in the basement for four or five years. It was a value wine, I think the Meijers ‘on sale’ sticker said $7.99, so I did expect it to taste a little tired and maybe completely gone.
I was wrong. The colour had started to shift with a slight bit of orange creeping in around the edge, yet it still smelled fruity with a rich vanilla ‘sauce’. It seemed to have a smidge of sweetness to it, with a full body. The flavour of raspberries and sweet cherries was lively and the vanilla was joined by a warming spice, helped along by a good zip of alcohol.
It was really quaff-able, having improved over the years. It’s worth stashing some away, as it tastes far more expensive after a few years next to the Christmas decorations.

6 thoughts on “Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel

  1. EVWG

    If you get a chance please try Benson Ferry zin. It is rounder and more complex and i s a single estate wine. Ravenswood is goodbut the only thing that sets me back is the fact that they don’t have their own vineyards. A zin from a single vineyardor estate has an individuality that is unsurpassed. Are you in NYC? or on the left coast. If you are in NYC please stop by my restuarnt or the shop.

    In Vino 215 East 4th street

    Alphabet City Wine Co. 100 ave. c between 6th and 7th.


  2. Taster A

    We found Ravenswood to be an interesting winery. Our first impression was that it was going to be a bit commercial, after all, they are a Constellation property. But they have retained their uniqueness and do produce some good stuff. The regular wines available across the country are very good values and have enough backbone to let sit around for a few years. Their “No Wimpy Wines” motto holds true even in their national releases, although I have not tried their whites. If you have the opportunity, try their Big River Zinfandel sourced from Anderson Valley grapes. (http://smellslikegrape.blogspot.com/search?q=ravenswood). We have started purchasing Ravenswood wines since visiting and sampling their estate wines. Good stuff.

  3. Dennis

    zins can be interesting (or odd) with some age.

    We joined a fun tasting once where some of the big zins from the 60s, 70s and 80s were pulled out. Many had a odd claret note under the last of the spiciness. A few were just bizarre (tannins and spice remained, fruit all gone). And a few were truly wonderful.

    I’m sure that I still have my tasting notes from that night somewhere. I’ll go looking for them.

  4. Dennis

    oh, and Ravenswood: so much more interesting before it was sold. Constellation Brands brought in a lot of cash but they have been a mixed blessing. Ravenswood is now standardized just like the rest of that portfolio. There was a time when RWV was a quirky winery with a cult following. Now it is sold in grocery chains. The VB series is the cash cow for the winery and one of the better sellers for Constellation Brands.

  5. Joe

    Hmm, I would never have thought to age a Vinters Blend Zin. I have enjoyed it (decent wine at this price point), but never ever would have aged it. Food for thought.

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