jamie goode's wine blog: Nice bottle, shame about the wine

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nice bottle, shame about the wine

Aside: Spooks is back! Tonight's episode was a good start. But back to wine:

I'm not a negative person, but unlike a critic I spoke to recently who claimed their refusal to publish critical comments was because he was essentially a 'polite person', I think it's only right to occasionally put the boot in a bit...only where it's deserved, mind.

A disappointing recent bottle was Ravenswood's Lodi Zinfandel. I remember visiting California 10 years ago (rather topically, we left England the day of Princess Di's funeral) for a glorious two week tour with good friends Paul and Judith. This was pre-kids, so travelling was a good deal easier then. While wine was a minor part of the holiday, we did spend some time in Sonoma, and one of the wineries we visited was Ravenswood, which was known for its serious Zinfandels. The winery motto was 'no wimpy wines'. One of the distinguishing features of the Ravenswood wines was their wonderful packaging (elegant label, short silver-coloured capsule reminiscent of Ridge), and this Lodi Zin shared this beautiful appearance. The appearance creates expectation, and the wine turned out to be a real let down. Despite the Ravenswood motto, this was wimpy. No, it's not one of the single-vineyard offerings, but at £9, this doesn't deliver any great pleasure at all. And if Zin doesn't give raw visceral pleasure, what does it give?

Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2005 California
Beautifully packaged, but unfortunately the contents donít quite live up to this. A cherry red colour, this medium-bodied wine has a modest berry fruit nose, and this leads to a sappy palate showing some sweet red berry fruit but not a lot else. Rather disappointing. 14.5% alcohol. 83/100 (£8.99 Majestic, Oddbins, Thresher)

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At 11:40 PM, Blogger Joe said...

So far I enjoy the Vintners' Blend much better than some of their pricier offerings. You should try and get a hold of a Bella Vineyards Zin (I am not a huge fan of Zin - small doses). Cheers!

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Alastair Bathgate said...


I tried the 2004 and was much less polite than you.


At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

Well done, although it's much easier to be negative about a wine from a relatively faceless outfit like that. It would be a far greater challenge were it from Jorge or Sandra!


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