Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ravenswood Vintners Blend Shiraz 2005, South Eastern Australia

This past weekend my husband and I took the plunge, we adopted a dog. When we set out to the shelter we intended to adopt a male cat as a companion to our cat, Daisy. When we saw Rooster, an Australian Cattle Dog, it was love at first sniff. We quickly rushed out and bought the requisite dog bowls, food, treats, toys, etc. I worried he and our cat would not hit it off and I was right. As soon as Daisy saw Rooster enter her domain she headed for our bedroom and has not been seen in the main part of the house since.

Being a herding dog, I think Rooster feels he needs to round her up and she understandably wants nothing to with being herded. In honor of Rooster’s arrival (we think he got his name from the way he kicks back after um, using the facilities) I decided an Australian wine was appropriate. This Australian wine may surprise you though. Why you ask? Because it’s an Aussie import of Ravenswood Vintners Blend Shiraz 2005, best known for their Sonoma Zinfandels.

Aromas of spice, wood and leather lead to bold blackberry, chocolate with a lingering earthy finish. True to their motto, No Wimpy Wines, this wine can stand with the best of them. I find all Ravenswood wines to be consistent and well balanced wines. When I saw the label with the kangaroos in lieu of the iconic ravens, I couldn’t resist. The price tag of $8.99 didn’t hurt either.

Appellation – South Eastern Australia
Variety – 100% Shiraz
Vintage – 2005
Alcohol – 13.5%
SRP - $8.99

I’ve posted many times on Ravenswood, I won’t bore you with going over the same history. Instead I’d like to share with you my story about Ravenswood winery. In 2010 I had the fortune of being one of ten people in the US to spend three days touring the Ravenswood Single Designate Vineyards. This included dining with Joel Peterson at his home as well as meals prepared on site at the Ravenswood tasting room in Sonoma and at the home of the Teldeschi family, one of the Single Designate growers for Ravenswood.

That was one of the most memorable meals I’ve had in my life. Not just because the food was phenomenal (and it was), but because of the warm fuzzy feelings I had sitting around a large family table with twenty people or more. As we sat at the table enjoying each others company and stories, I truly felt I was part of something really special among this extended Ravenswood family. The ride there wasn’t too bad either, courtesy of a helicopter lifting off at the Pickberry Vineyards and setting down at the Teldeschi homestead.

On that 2010 trip I was inducted into the Order of the Ravens by none other than the Godfather of Zinfandel, Joel Peterson. I don’t know if it’s this “connection” or because of all the wonderful people and experiences I had but I have a special place in my wine cellar for all Ravenswood wines.

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