Thursday, October 28, 2010

2007 Ravenswood Barricia Single Vineyard Sonoma

The last few days have been more than surreal. Ranging from sitting across Ravenswood’s winemaker, Joel Peterson, talking about wine, meeting the Ravenswood Single Vineyard growers and their families, to an aerial tour of Sonoma and Napa Valley, I feel I have had some once in a lifetime experiences. When I started writing about wine a year ago, I never imagined the places it would take me or the wonderful people and paths I would cross.

It’s a magical time in Sonoma as harvest is all but complete. There are still berries hanging allowing me to sample straight from those great old gnarled vines. There is something to be said about grape vines as far as the eye can see, the dirt beneath your feet and the smell of the terroir as you sip a beautifully crafted glass of wine.

This past week saw some much needed rain to the dry and crispy grass but rot threatens the remaining fruits. I’m told 2010 has been a challenging growing season and wine production will be strikingly low. Cooler temps in the summer forced growers to thin the clusters in an attempt to allow more sunlight to kiss the grapes. No sooner had thinning been completed, the sun came out big and bright and fried the berries. As with any agricultural industry, the growers and winemakers soldier on.

California Zin vines conjure up many images in my mind. From the beauty of the old heritage vines basking in the sunlight to the spooky images of a moonlit night, shadowy figures and ominous big black birds in the back ground. My latest sample of 2007 Ravenswood Barricia Single Vineyard is a reminder of how much history those wonderful old vines hold.

Aromatic spices combine with blackberry preserves, more spice and a hint of smoky flavors. The berry flavors hit the front of the palate with a burst of flavors but seem reigned in for the duration of the finish. The tannins and fruit are well balanced and finish lingers with a nice spicy punch.

Blend – 76% Zinfandel, 24% Petite Sirah
Appellation – Sonoma
TA – 6.35g/l
pH – 3.53
RS – 1.0g/l
Alcohol – 14.5%
Price - $35
Drink now or hold up to 10 years

Located in Sonoma, the Barrica vineyard is known for old vine Zinfandel. Due to age of the vines and the dry farming practices, the Barricia vineyards yield low crops leading to intense wine flavors. The vineyard uses sustainable farming practices and is hand-harvested each year. The 2007 vintage produced just 1,845 cases.

On the flight home I reminisce on the winemakers and growers I’ve met over the past few days and try to sum up my thoughts. They’re dedication to the land, the tradition and history of the old vines shines through in the meticulous care and nurture they give to the vineyards. Like any other farmer, there are good years and bad years, they persevere and continue doing what they love.

Each vineyard tells a story, it’s sometimes a sad tale but still a story. Like those vineyards, each bottle you share with friends or family can lead to a well beloved story or even a new tradition. So raise those glasses to some great Ravenswood Single Vineyard Zinfandels and let your story begin.

2010© Kellie Stargaard. All Rights Reserved.

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1 comment:

  1. Nice Photo from: The circa 1906 , “Old Vine" Zinfandel Block of the Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County California (between Napa & The Pacific Ocean)