You may have noticed that I am susceptible to enthusiasms when it comes to purchasing and consuming beer, wine, and liquor. I usually drink tonight something similar to what I drank last night. I finished a bottle of 2005 Ravenswood Sonoma County Zinfandel Thursday night, so what better to drink on Friday night than a bottle of 2005 Ravenswood Napa County Zinfandel?
I don't know if it is still the case, but for a long time, Sonoma County was regarded as something of the hick cousin to Napa County. Most of California's big-name, big-prestige, big-price wineries were located in Napa, while Sonoma retained something of its traditional rustic, agricultural character. It seems fitting, then, that Sonoma is more known for its Zinfandel than Napa is -- Zinfandel, with its big, bruising, slightly wild character is more of a match for rustic Sonoma than refined Napa. Of course, a lot of Zinfandel is grown in Napa, and any winery that makes an appreciable amount of the stuff will probably use at least some Napa grapes. And so it is with Ravenswood.
This wine is similar in style to the 2005 Sonoma County wine that I drank earlier in the week: it's big, oaky, tannic, and fruity. But whereas the fruit that I got from the Sonoma County wine was raspberry (doused with a heavy dose of cream), here I get darker fruit -- maybe cherries or blackberries or something like that. After some time in the glass, it starts to get lighter and creamier; but it certainly is different from the Sonoma County version. I prefer the Sonoma County, but this is pretty enjoyable, too.