Tonight I've decided to have an old fashioned cookout, and what's better with a cookout than a fabulous Zinfandel? And of course we know the best Zins come from Lodi, and specifically from old vines and that's what I've opened tonight, the 2011 Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi!
The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass with very nice clarity. The nose is classic Lodi Zin, rich ripe black fruit, blackberries, black cherry, blueberries and plum over a smoky layer of leather and cedar intertwined with some green grass and herbs. The taste is just a pleasure from the first sip, with rich jammy fruit bursting forward that transitions effortlessly to some black pepper and Asian spice notes midpalate. The finish is warm, smooth and very dry with well structured tannins that give this wine a backbone that's ideal for summer barbecue fare.
Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's a great example of a classic Lodi Zinfandel, and at a spectacular price of only $12 at my local wine merchant, G.B. Russo's. Tonight I'm enjoying this wine with a classic midwest cookout of grilled brats on pretzel buns accented with spicy brown mustard, horseradish, sweet pickled red cabbage, and some egg and mustard potato salad on the side. Summer is such a great time for food!