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Wine Review: Ravenswood 2007 Zinfandel, Belloni Vineyard (Russian River Valley)

If you’ve ever searched for the perfect pairing for a porterhouse, we have the wine for you.  The Ravenswood 2007 Zinfandel just cries out to be imbibed with the buttery tenderness of a great porterhouse steak.

This wine is dark ruby in color and has a nose of black cherry, violets and baking spices.  The taste is characterized by lots of concentrated, juicy fruits including blueberry and blackberry.  The rich acidic quality this fruity taste contributes works wonderfully with the fatty unctuous taste of steak.  The finish had a hint of dark bitter chocolate, which contrasted well with the wine’s fruity qualities and made for a taste that truly embodied that word that wine experts love so much: balanced.

Rich, tannic wines such as Zinfandels tend to be very good pairings for steak.  The high levels of tannins in these wines bind to the fat molecules that are so prevalent in something like steak, acting as palate cleansers that refresh the mouth with each sip, leaving it primed for another bite of meat.   (Check out our article on The Science of Wine Aging to learn more about how this works.)  This Zin showed a particularly strong ability to stand up to the rich, meaty taste of the porterhouse, which was simply seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled to a perfect medium rare.

The vines at the Belloni Vineyard are estimated to be more than 90 years old.  The wine they produce is known for its round, fruit flavors and subtle complexity, which makes this 2007 Ravenswood Belloni the perfect candidate for aging.  The company recommends 7-10 years in the cellar to really bring out its background flavors of smoke and peppercorn.

A bottle of this great Zin, accompanied by a perfect steak was the wine lover’s idea of a perfect meal.  To finish with a 1994 Graham’s Vintage Port, now that would be living…

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