Besieged Ravenswood Winery Old Vine Blend Sonoma County 2012

besiegedWhat would you expect from a wine called “Besieged”—over-the-top alcohol, tannins that grip like a masseuse with a mean streak,  acid that bites like a thousand teeth? Or perhaps the reference is to a threat of  Biblical proportions:

“And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down…” (Deuteronomy) That is one scary wine.

Who knows what the wine-marketing gods had in mind.

But I’m not feeling besieged only bewitched by this well put together offering from Ravenswood. They are known for their Zinfandel but this is one of those odd blends in which the whole is better than the sum of its parts–35% Carignane, 20% Petite Sirah, 18% Zinfandel, 13% Mourvedre, 9% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Barbera—it you want to experience the art of blending this would be a good place to begin. This is a winemaker’s wine.

Opaque, deep ruby, shading to purple in the glass. Abundant aromas of fresh, ripe blackberry,  with toasty wood and light spice, cardamom to be exact, and hints of chocolate. Only medium intensity but there is plenty of complexity to hold your interest.

On the palate, it is rich and round, full bodied, and the flavors have depth for a wine at this price. Medium acidity with plenty of zing and a medium length finish that continues the oak theme bolstered by soft tannins.

Easy drinking but evocative, the story here is the well-tempered oak which creates interest without being overbearing. It is aged in 40% new French oak for 10 months.

Score: 90

Price:  $17

Alc: 14.5

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