In addition to the grapes that William Dickerson sells to Ravenswood, he also retains a portion of the grapes he grows and has them vinified and sold under his own label. Some of these grapes are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Ruby Cabernet (a UC-Davis-created cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignane that has mostly been used for Central Valley bulk wines but that Dickerson insists can make good juice when properly cultivated and vinified), which Ravenswood would not be interested in for their single-vineyard wines. But there is also a Dickerson Vineyards Limited Reserve Zinfandel. And guess who the winemaker is for all of the Dickerson Vineyards wines? That's right: Joel Peterson, the Ravenswood winemaker. So how does Dickerson decide which Zinfandel goes to Ravenswood and which goes into his own wine? And how does his Zinfandel differ from the Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zin? Beats the heck out of me. I'd like to try it, though.
The remainder of the 2005 Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zin bottle that I had last night actually showed better than it did when I first opened it. I don't know, maybe the time open softened the tannins in the wine (although it didn't seem overly tannic to me). But in any case, the fruit showed up to a greater extent, and I liked it more. Which is to say that I liked it greatly indeed.