Joel Peterson is well-known for the wines he crafted for his original Ravenswood label, the bestselling red Zinfandel brand in the world. After 45 years in the wine industry, he's back with a return to his original vision from many years ago with his new boutique label Once & Future.
93 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Mataro Oakley Road Vineyard is soft, fruity and absolutely delicious wine, with lovely red berry, spice and floral character. Bright saline notes extend the finish nicely. Medium in body and supple, with impeccable balance, the 2018 is so delicious. These own-rooted vines planted in the late 1890s confer real depth of flavor as well as personality. This is such a classy wine."
Mouvedre, the famous grape of Bandol, is known by the name Mataro in California. The Mataro grape has been planted in California since the 1870s, mostly as an adjunct in blends that were Zinfandel dominated. Though scarce, Mataro is an exceptional standalone grape in a few places. One of those is Oakley. In the eastern rain shadow of Mount Diablo near the San Joaquin River, vines on their own roots planted in sand dune-like soils in the late 1800s and early 1900s continue to produce some of the most interesting and highly regarded Mataro in California. The climate conditions are perfect for slow ripening grapes like Mataro. "The 2018 Mataro has an aroma that is redolent of sweet red cherries, with hints of bay leaf and wood smoke. There is a dollop of vanilla and caramel from the new (25%) French oak that adds roundness and depth to the bouquet. In the mouth the wine is bright, rich and red fruit driven with all the suppleness that one would expect from own-roots vines in such sandy soils. 119 year old vines. 360 cases bottled." - Joel Peterson, Once & Future
One of the best value boutique Zinfandels in California from Klinker Brick! An intense, fruit-filled wine you expect to cost at least twice as much. If you have yet to try a Zin from Lodi, this is the one!
The Klinker Brick 2017 Old Vines Zinfandel is produced from an amalgam of 14 different vineyard blocks, ranging in age from 35 to 110 years old. This vintage saw lower yields, producing a wine that is both complex and bold. Showing typical Klinker Brick cherry/berry/plum fruit components with aromatic spices on the nose, this wine is incredibly well balanced with a silky smooth texture and a long lingering finish. One of their best!
A fantastic $20 Old Vines Zinfandel from Carol Shelton.
91 Points Wine Spectator: "A juicy bomb of fruit, this red is also well-structured, with lively raspberry, toasty spice and roasted sage flavors that linger on a snappy finish. Drink now through 2028"
Carol Shelton has been lauded with countless medals and honors through the course of her 35-year winemaking career. In fact, she is said to be one of the most awarded winemakers in the country. Through Carol Shelton Wines, Carol could focus on whatever she chose—and she chose Zinfandel. Eager to capture all the nuances that terroir gives to this intriguing variety, Carol searched through the great California growing regions including Dry Creek Valley, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Mendocino, and Cucamonga.