- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Crafted from low-yielding vineyards in the Lodi region of California, near Sacramento, this zinfandel offers plenty of bang for not all that many bucks. Bright and lively, with nary a trace of astringency or heat, it tastes of fresh red berries and sweet spice, and so would be a great choice to drink with burgers, chicken or ribs at a Memorial Day barbecue.

The Ravenswood winery produces a host of zinfandels — from small-lot, single-vineyard bottlings to mass-produced, blended wines. Although some of the big-volume ones can seem nondescript, the regional wines frequently prove exciting. Of the current offerings, this Lodi zin offers particularly vibrant flavors and represents an especially fine value.

Good Lodi zins tend to come from old vines, many planted before Prohibition by Italian and other immigrants. Vine age gives the fruit added depth and prevents the wines from tasting sappy or simple.

Ravenswood sources the majority of the fruit for this wine from a 100-year-old vineyard. The result is a zinfandel that tastes simultaneously spirited and substantial — a delectable combination.

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