Mission Codename Charging the Hill
Not just any Old Hill this is. Take Zinfandel and push it to the maximum. And then double the average age of the “old vines” out there, and the Ravenswood 2013 Old Hill will start to appear. It’s that big, and it’s that good, and it’s that HOT so we encourage you to act now to secure some. We the Spies here, theorize that what gives this wine the extra dimension is that 25% of the blend comes from “mixed blacks” which adds the mysterious red aura we tend to particularly seek here at the Headquarters. In the olden and golden days of California’s pioneer Zinfandel plantings of the late 1800s, the cherished cuttings that arrived from the Old World were never purely a single varietal, but contained a small selection of the unknown and nowadays uncovered selections of varieties that love to grow side by side with Zinfandel. These “mixed blacks” contained sometimes dozens of varieties, from Carignane to Petite Sirah to Mourvedre, that add layers and layers of flavors, spice, and henceforth complexity to a dominantly Zinfandel driven blend like this.
This wine is dark as a caped horseman, riding with a black stallion, wearing a crimson cape. The nose mirrors a night sky filled with fireworks, the deep notes of black cherry macerated with mace and licorice. A bold potpourri of red and dark berries enhanced by savory tomato skin, rosemary and truffle carry the palate while broad shouldered tannins envelop a core of explosive black raspberry, game, and cigar box. A minute plus long finish that crescendos to intense dried, jammy fruits holding with a spicy note.
Just the thought that this heritage vineyard was planted in 1855 is enough to give us goosebumps, and that’s before even finding out the incredible price we can offer it at. The mastery of taking such a legacy and translating it to such intensity that holds an impeccable balance is what makes Joel Peterson one of the true mythical personalities behind the best that Zinfandel can offer.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
90 points – Wine Enthusiast - “From a famed old site planted to 75% Zinfandel and 25% mixed black-skinned varieties, this wine conveys a minty-eucalyptus quality that tunes the acidity high against a medium-weight body. Austere at first on the palate, it expands as it goes, offering robust, dry tannins and layers of cardamom and coffee with time and air.”
92 points – Wine & Spirits - “A muscular red that carries a suggestion of ferny undergrowth in its cool, minty aromas…with a dark-berried intensity that should keep it in good form for 10 years or more.”
What the Winery Says
2013 Old Hill Zinfandel
- Joel Peterson
- 75% Zinfandel
- 25% Mixed Blacks
- Sonoma Valley
- 19 months French oak barrels
- 30% new