Ravenswood, once a revered producer closely linked with the renowned winemaker and owner, Joel Peterson, has seen a series of transitions. Initially acquired by Constellation for $149 million, it was later bundled with other brands and sold to the large wine conglomerate, Gallo, in 2021 for $1.7 billion.
It’s essential to note that while the brand transitioned, the vineyard did not. This means that this wine’s lineage has changed and the great reviews prior to this are not reflective of the current product. The origin of the grapes is now somewhat ambiguous, but it’s highly unlikely they come from the original Ravenswood vineyard.
Despite this backdrop, the wine has managed to leave a positive impression on myself and others. The 2021 vintage of Ravenswood that I sampled has a high rating of 4.1 on Vivino. Notably, it’s also ranked by Vivino amongst the top 25 Californian Zinfandel wines available in the United Kingdom at the time of writing this review.
The wine’s legs are evident, attributed to its 14.5% alcohol by volume, though the physical impact feels even more potent than the stated percentage! The initial notes are of oak, which then transition to blueberries, plums and a hint of vanilla. The wine’s length is impressive and its resilience to temperature is noteworthy – I sampled it at a warm 26°C, and it held its character. The hue is a little browner than I might have anticipated for its age. Its profile is reminiscent of a quality Primitivo, which is the same grape as Zinfandel, setting it apart from other Zinfandel I’ve tasted. Interestingly, it’s imported by Gallio GmbH, in Germany which is strange given that I’m based in the UK.
Thanks to Gallo’s expansive reach, this wine is readily available across many UK retailers, including Tesco, Majestic, Morrisons, Ocado and Iceland. As of writing this, Asda don’t list it online but it’s available instore. I managed to buy a bottle at Asda for £10.87, down from £14.50 during a 25% off promotional period. For those hunting for the best deals, Majestic and Ocado seem to usually have the lowest price for this wine.