Once and Future ‘Green and Red Vineyard’ – Zinfandel; Napa Valley, California; 2021 

 July 5, 2024

By  rackhouse

Once & Future is the return of one of California’s great winemaking mavericks, Joel Peterson. Joel started Ravenswood in 1976 and focused on making Zinfandel from old vine parcels throughout Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties, and was the first winemaker to vineyard designate Zinfandel in California.

Once & Future is a continuation of Joel’s early work at Ravenswood as he’s returned to many of the original vineyards he used, Oakley, Sangiacomo, and Teldeschi, while also incorporating the famed Bedrock vineyard owned by his son Morgan Twain-Peterson and Palisades vineyard in Calistoga.

Joel connected a bit later with Jay Heminway. Jay was very enthusiastic about his winery project in Napa’s Chiles Valley. Jay started his winemaking in 1977. They were both fans of Zinfandel, founding members, in 1992, of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP), and both had connections to Berkeley and Chez Panisse. Jay planted Zinfandel and some Petite Sirah on the steep slopes of red Chert that gave his winery half of its name. The other half of the name is derived from the green bands of Serpentine soil that are also found on the property.                         

Once & Future’s Green and Red Vineyard Zinfandel is 80% Zinfandel and 20% Petite Sirah from the steepest part of the northeast-facing slope of the section of the vineyard known as Tip Top. The two varieties are picked at the same time and co-fermented in an open-top redwood fermenter employing the vineyard’s indigenous yeast for fermentation, and aged in 30% new French oak barrels.

This vintage shows richness and complexity, featuring flavors of ripe blackberry, cherry compote, and a hint of baking spices.

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