Zinfandel Older Than Your Dog–And Better Behaved

Bricking hard with wide tawny edges.  Beautiful mint, roux and honeydew nose explodes right outa the box.  No funk no shut-in clamminess no nothing.  Stellar gamy cassis, blanched swiss-chard and the remnants of caramel oak.  A background twang of conifer and deep red Sierra soil ripeness grounds everything in reality.  I assume everyone reading this understands the Three R’s of Zinfandel, but honestly of all the Ridges, Rosenblums and Ravenswoods I’ve had, I never put much weight in the Amador offerings.  DCV, SCM, CCC, RRV, even Paso, but Amador is just something you kinda figure is too dark and flabby, too *weird* too un-sophisticated a region to really be in it for the long run.  Well, if I thought this going into this wine, I clearly forgot I was dealing with one of the masters.  In the mouth an instant lush blackberry fruit caresses the entire palate while polished but still-brilliant acid balances everything out.  Mouth-filling and wonderful, bringing me nearly to tears remembering my once-love affair with Zinfandel–a situation practically abandoned in light of what has been offered to us for the past 15 years.  Elegant, round, and shedding cedar and perfect saddle at every turn, its still-viable tannins close everything out perfectly but not overwhelmingly.  A dark crease of Amador tar–sanded smooth by 16 years of what must have been incredible initial verve–cruises gracefully through the entire wine.  OK, I’m gonna shut up and drink this now.
1999 Ravenswood Zinfandel Amador County 14-4

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