Awards Accolades: 95 Points - Connoisseurs' Guide - "With lots and lots of well-defined, optimally ripened blackberry and stone fruit notes leading the way in both its very deep, full-scaled aromas and wonderfully well-extracted flavors, this year's Teldeschi hits all the right varietal marks. It is at once endowed with zesty acidity and palpable tannins, yet both of those pieces of the puzzle are appropriately buffered by plenty read more...Awards Accolades: 95 Points - Connoisseurs' Guide - "With lots and lots of well-defined, optimally ripened blackberry and stone fruit notes leading the way in both its very deep, full-scaled aromas and wonderfully well-extracted flavors, this year's Teldeschi hits all the right varietal marks. It is at once endowed with zesty acidity and palpable tannins, yet both of those pieces of the puzzle are appropriately buffered by plenty of real fruit at its very heart. The wine's obvious richness may tempt some into early drinking, but this one is bound to get better and better if allowed three to five years in bottle."
91 - 92 Points - International Wine Cellar - "Saturated purple. Explosively aromatic nose features powerful blackberry, candied plum and fruitcake notes and an exotic Asian spice element. Not at all heavy, though, with the palate showing impressively energetic red and dark berry flavors, molten tannins and a taut, youthful quality on the back. According to Peterson, "this is the best fruit out of Dry Creek Valley."
About This Wine: The 2006 Teldeschi Zinfandel is deep garnet in color and offers spicy aromas of cinnamon and cardamom amid an inviting black cherry overlay. Huge black cherry flavors follow through to the palate where they are followed by the typical Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel characters of vanilla cherry and sweet plum. – Joel Peterson
About The Winery: For as long as anybody cares to remember, this has been the credo (calling card? Battle cry? Team yell? Coat of arms?) of Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma, California. Expressing our commitment to full-flavored varietal wine — notably Zinfandel — it sums up our mission to capture everything a vineyard has to offer, and to promote it in a way that won't put people to sleep. Wine is, after all, one of the most fascinating and fun things in life, which is why Ravenswood winemaker Joel Peterson believes that it belongs on the table — not on a pedestal or in an ivory tower.
How did the name of Ravenswood become interchangeable with irresistibility? In the early 1970s, when California's claim to fame was the "best jug wine in the world," Joel's dream was to create wines that would rival the greatest of Europe. Turned out he wasn't dreaming: In his first vintage, 1976, he produced 327 cases of Dry Creek Zin that took first place in a prestigious San Francisco tasting. But despite the cult following and critical acclaim that began to swirl around its hypnotic logo, Ravenswood remained a roving boutique until the late 1980s, when its Vintners Blend program was launched. Conceived on Joel's conviction that, besides great wine, the world needs good, affordable wine ("a lake of wine an inch deep"), it redefined the concept of Best Jug Wine in the World.
Thanks to this and a few other things (not least, its tireless campaign against priggish elitism), Ravenswood acquired an informal reputation as the people's premium winery. In 1999 the company went public with a "Dutch auction" of shares offered over the Internet, and two years later Ravenswood was purchased by Constellation Brands, becoming part of its fine-wine division, Franciscan Estates — a productive partnership that kept the winery under Joel's control while providing greater resources for efficient operation and growth.
The picture has changed a bit since 1976. Following the original inspiration of wineries like Ravenswood, California has now shirked its once-wimpy status to a fault. But the more things change around our Sonoma headquarters, the more they stay the same. In this brave new enologically altered world, Ravenswood continues to set a stubborn standard for complex, balanced, uncompromising wine that captures everything a vineyard has to offer (and, we might add, nothing more).
About The Winemaker: Joel Peterson grew up on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay during the Dark Ages when California wine was judged by the type of jug it was bottled in. However, Joel's farsighted father Walter bucked the status quo by starting the San Francisco Wine Sampling Club, which studied fine wines from all over the world. Walter allowed his son to join the group's twice-weekly tastings when Joel was nine years old, carefully measuring the wine in the boy's glass — then his spittoon — to make sure everything was expectorated.
By the time he was a teenager, Joel thus had a working knowledge of European vineyards and vintages, along with a collection of headstrong opinions about what made good wine. After graduating from Oregon State University, he followed in the professional footsteps of his parents (both of whom were chemists), going to work as a laboratory scientist. On the side, he made money through wine writing and consulting, gaining a local reputation as a gifted taster (and tasteless punster).
Eventually it dawned on Joel that he had the background (not to mention the prejudices) to be an actual winemaker. Hence, he apprenticed with Joseph Swan — one of California's outstanding craftsmen of fine Zinfandel — to learn the art of traditional winemaking as practiced in Bordeaux and Burgundy. In 1976 Joel founded Ravenswood in partnership with fellow wine lover Reed Foster (a Harvard MBA gone astray) and over the next half-dozen years, their fledgling operation moved from the rear corner of one willing winery to another. When Ravenswood finally turned a profit after a dozen years of operation, they settled on the northern edge of Sonoma, where the winery's tasting room is located.
Joel is now acknowledged as a leader in California wine — an articulate spokesman and stylistic trendsetter who helped make Zinfandel the runaway phenomenon that it is today. If there were a California Winemaking Hall of Fame, he'd be a shoo-in for early induction — not just as a home-run hitter but as one of the most popular players in the majors. (It's said that even as a Little Leaguer he could handle the spitter with aplomb.)
Technical Analysis: Vintage: 2006
Wine Type: Red Wine
Varietal: 76% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah, and 4% Carignane
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Aging: 20 months in 100% French Oak
Ageability: Up to 10 years
92 Points "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 vivac...
International Wine Cellar 92
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines(From 2005 Vintage) With lots and lots of well-defined, optimally ripened blackberry and stone fruit notes leading the way in both its very deep, full-scaled aromas and wonderfully well-extracted flavors, this year's Teldeschi hits all the right varietal marks. It is at once endowed with zesty acidity and palpable tannins, yet both of those pieces of the puzzle are appropriately buffered by plenty of real fruit at its very heart. The wine's obvious richness may tempt some into early drinking, but this one is bound t...
Ken's Wine Guide(From 2005 Vintage) This very approachable wine opens with a cherry like bouquet with some hints of cassis and a faint touch of bay leaf. On the palate, this medium bodied wine is smooth, nicely balanced, and requires ...
Wine Spectator(From 2000 Vintage) Rating: 84/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator on 01/01/03