Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2007 Ravenswood Teldeschi Single Vineyard Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Frank Teldeschi
 A recent trip to Sonoma provided me with many wonderful experiences and memories I’ll carry for years to come. One of my favorite experiences was a family style lunch at a Teldeschi son’s home in Dry Creek Valley overlooking the 97 year old vineyards. The lunch followed a helicopter tour providing a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Sonoma and Napa Valley. I spent a few short hours with the Teldeschi family where the Ravenswood Teldeschi Single Vineyard Zinfandel flowed freely and I had the opportunity to enjoy a vertical tasting of Teldeschi wines.

Spicy pepper aromas, flavors of lush berry, cherry, tobacco and earth intermingle with traditional vanilla and plum. All layers come together and make for a very pretty and perfumed wine. Truly a delight, my only regret is the sample bottle I received at home is now empty. This wine is really worth the $35, you may not find in your local wine store but you can order directly from the Ravenswood website.

Varietal - 76% Zinfandel, 22% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane
TA – 6.12g/L
pH – 3.59
Alcohol - 4.5%
Production – 3,500 cases
SRP - $35

Mama & Frank Teldeschi
The sign in the driveway reads Parking for Italians only, hmm, I’m not Italian but that’s ok, the helicopter I arrived in, isn’t staying long anyway. As I crouched low and made my way to the porch of the Teldeschi home, I and my fellow travelers were greeted by John and Dan Teldeschi who now run the vineyards. Their sister, Nancy, and mother, Caterina or better known as Mama Teldeschi, were also in attendance. Following a quick history of the Teldeschi Vineyards we headed inside for a family style lunch, reminiscent of Thanksgiving but oh so much better. All dishes were based off Mama Teldeschi’s Italian recipes creating a feast fit for a king or at least twenty hungry food and wine lovers.

We were told stories of the family’s Patriarch, Frank, and his immigration from Italy in 1929, how he entered the family into the wine growing business in the 1950’s and finally how the family began making great wines for Ravenswood. When Frank agreed to sell grapes to Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood Winery, Frank was already selling grapes exclusively to Gallo. Knowing his arrangement with another winemaker could bring about a difficult situation, he sold grapes to Joel but only if he picked them in the pre-dawn hours. This arrangement helped to put Ravenswood and Teldeschi on the Zinfandel map.

As the food, wine and conversation flowed freely and the Teldeschi’s sharing of more family stories reminded me of my thoughts on wine; wine is something to be shared and enjoyes with good food, family and friends both old and new. Their sharing of family pictures and memories even if for one afternoon was such a wonderful treat. I hope this holiday season brings you much joy and happiness with good friends, family and of course good wine.

2010© Kellie Stargaard. All Rights Reserved.

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