Ears congested, noses clogged and sinuses whistling with changing pressures: this was our our last week. The mighty cold has ripped through this little apartment, leaving in its wake an odor or vegetable soup, a pile of shoulder high used tissues and eyes rife with red irritation. As a result we held off the usual wine night for a few more days than we would have liked to. Our wine, cheese, and Star Trek night is a gracious God, and thus allows us to worship whenever, not just on Sundays; so long as we do it weekly we’re cool. If we do not take on this weekly ritual there is a distinct lilt in our walks, a sour tenor in our voices, a deep urge and raucous beckoning in our heads pleading us to knead dough, by cheese, slap a wine in the fridge for or half and hour and fire up the DVD player. A close friend of mine called this an obvious sign of alcohol dependance. I countered with our wine-god theory. He wasn’t convinced.
What may have come and past is often remembered as better than the present. Perhaps it’s the mind glorifying what once was instead of treasuring, understanding, the present. Benedict de Spinoza mused about this in his philosophical writings, I paraphrase: our memories are our imaginations, a contorted recollection, and thus remembered as an interpretation, making the memory not at all how it once truly was. Good as all that may be, it doesn’t negate the fact that you easily recognize a past vintage of a wine being better, whether by means of your scribbled drunken notes or plain (but possibly adulterated) memory, was much better than a current vintage year. Many of us have been here before. Perpetuity…it’s perpetual. This is the case for the Ravens Wood 2010 Zinfandel. It has some very likeable tinges to it, but when you stack it up to your memory of their last released vintage, it doesn’t quite live up to its prestige.
Ravens Wood 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel – $17
– A rich and vibrant violet, crimson on the edges.
– A nondescript nose, but there is a faint whiff of oak and some sort of redolence of wet earth once exposed to oxygen for a good deal of time.
– The first sip is a thin, hardly noticeable gulp. Once exposed and and warmed you get a sense of what the wine is all about: a silky, low tannin, fruit-forward murmur. There’s nothing exactly specific to what isn’t working here, but there is a distinct lack of vivacity in the mid-range followed by an anti-climatic linger. The usual suspects of plum, oak and must are present.
Overall: Skip it. There’s not too much going on to warrant such a price that they ask for. For, even at a few dollars less, there are many other wines in the price range that runs laps around this easy-going, “yeah, I’m a wine” attitude of a zinfandel–a supposed old vine, at that.