Ravenswood Barricia Zinfandel Single Vineyard 2013: Inky dark color; rich black cherry, dark berries, plum on the nose;
dark fruits, boysenberry, cherry, some pepper, spice, leather on the palate; remarkably smooth and dense; the lush flavors are balanced by toasted oak, some acidity (3.79 pH), and lip-licking deliciousness. Made with 76% zinfandel and 24% petite sirah, this has heft and dark power but never becomes brutish, delivering well-defined fruit through to its pleasing, tart finish, thanks to structure provided by the generous use of petite sirah. Some of the zinfandel fruit comes from vines planted on a core six acres before 1892, and that low-yield, thick-skin flavor intensity certainly is element of this effort’s allure. “Barricia” sounds like it should have some connection to California’s Spanish heritage; in fact, it is portmanteau of the first names of owners Barbara Oleson and Patricia Herron, who bought the historic property in 1978. There is a Spanish connection—in the 1840s the land belonged to Sonoma pioneer Mariano Vallejo, who traded it to his children’s music teacher for piano lessons. Today, Ravenswood is part of Constellation Brands, the world’s largest wine company and, fortunately, a company that allows its acquisitions to continue to do what made them valuable for Constellation to acquire in the first place. Delicious, big, great mouthfeel, savory. $36
Second photo: Ravenswood’s iconic three-raven logo may be the most-tattooed wine logo in America; if you have such a tattoo, you get free tastings at the Ravenswood winery for life.