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Professional Ratings: 95 Wine Enthusiast, 92 Wine & Spirits
Region: Sonoma County, California
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Alcohol By Volume: 15%
Item no. 112442
The 2008 Old Hill is a wine that is refined, but assertive. Powerful ripe aromas of mint, cedar, vanilla and dark chocolate are underpinned by the full fruit character of Bing cherries and black raspberries. Big and rich on the palate, the dark fruit and spice flavors persist in a long finish enveloped in delicious vanilla and toasted almond flavors infused by the judicious use of French oak aging. This is an extremely alluring wine that is attractive now but, as most past vintages from this vineyard have demonstrated, will continue to get more interesting for many years.
A tremendous Zinfandel, Ravenswood's most expensive, and while you might quiver at the price, it's easily a very great wine. This is Zinfandel on steroids, a monster of wild summer berry, tobacco, currant and spice flavors, wrapped into significantly thick tannins. Yet despite the power, it never quite loses elegance and balance. The winery's 2007 was their greatest Zinfandel ever, and this one isn't far behind.
Old Hill (named for the original farmer, not the topography) is a collection of ancient mixed blacks planted in 1851. Farmed to day by Will Buckliln and his family, who have identified at least 14 varieties in the mix, predominantly zinfandel, plus grenache, petite sirah, carignan and alicante. Joel Peterson has made a single-vineyard wine from Old Hill since 1983 and knows the fines intimately. His 2008 has a sophisticated sort of rusticity, a wine that tastes more of the soil in its black and brawny tannin than of all the purple and blueberry fruit flavor above it. The structure only takes it deeper into darkness and savory earth with air. Decant it if you open the bottle now, to serve with game, whether roast boar or moose.