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Professional Ratings: 95 Connoisseurs' Guide, 91 International Wine Cellar
Region: Sonoma County, California
Style: Big & Bold
Alcohol By Volume: 15.5%
Item no. 96778
Black pepper, vanilla, hints of smoke and tar intermingled with ripe fruit flavors-lots of luscious Bing cherries and sweet plums.
Lorenzo's father had settled in the Alexander Valley. Franco (who, upon coming to America, began calling himself Frank) planted his own vineyard and sold grapes to Italian home winemakers in San Francisco. Sometime later, during the 1970s, a young winemaker came to their house in Dry Creek Valley and asked if he could buy some grapes for his new winery, Ravenswood. He and Frank sat down under a tree and Frank opened a bottle of his homemade wine; four hours later Joel Peterson could hardly walk, but he had a deal for a few tons of Zinfandel—a grape that, if God could grow it in only one place, He would grow it in Dry Creek Valley.
Today Frank's son John is also a grapegrower, and the Teldeschis still sell fruit to home winemakers. But a few years ago their truck blew up near the Golden Gate Bridge, so John doesn't deliver grapes to San Francisco any more. This turned out to be another break for Joel, who swears that he didn't do anything to the truck but does now produce a wine made exclusively from Teldeschi grapes. Some of the vines are 90 years old, and the grapes are the classic Italian-Californian field blend: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. But Zinfandel was Lorenzo's favorite, so it's mostly Zinfandel.
The mating of Teldeschi fruit with the Ravenswood hand has yielded superb results across the years, and 2006 is not exception. From its first nose of ripe, concentrated blackberries tinged with sweet spices to the background notes of soils, toast and toffee to its varietally compelling flavors firmed by tough yet fruit-buffered tannins, this one never lets up, but it does want time in the cellar to soften its age-demanding astringency
($35) Deep, saturated red. Zesty cherry and redcurrant aromas display admirable energy and clarity. Tangy, finely etched red berry flavors are medium in weight, with mint and camphor adding vivacity. Becomes sappier and sweeter with air, finishing with excellent lift and snap.