Overview of the Wine
From the Here and Now, the early 1980’s seem like a long time ago!
I was a long-haired bearded young man who found himself having an unexpected luncheon with Frank and Caterina Teldeschi and their sons Dan and John…. Welcoming hosts, they represented the most recent two generations of an Italian family that had been farming their part of Dry Creek Valley since the early 1900’s. The lunch included copious amounts of wine (some made by me, some by Frank) and extraordinarily delicious food cooked by Caterina. I can still remember the menu; stuffed zucchini, homemade pasta with meat sauce made from tomatoes that Catarina grew in the back yard from seeds she brought with her from Italy as a young bride, roast chicken from her chicken yard, and a pork roast with potatoes from a wild pig Frank had caught rooting around the vineyard. To finish the meal, perfect biscotti and delicate rolled anise flavored cookies.
I don’t know whether it was the food, the wine, the people or the amicable mix of all the ingredients that created the magic, but at the end of that lunch, Frank and I had a handshake deal for 4 tons of grapes and as it turns out, a 36 plus year friendship with the family.
Over the years from that small beginning, the wine made from the Frank Teldeschi family grapes grew into one of Ravenswood’s most successful and most awarded single vineyard designated wines.
Located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley on the Eastside bench land, Teldeschi Vineyard is in the best location of a valley that might be one of the best spots for growing Zinfandel in the world. Of course, Frank Teldeschi had his favorite blocks of grapes on the ranch; one of them was a small somewhat mixed block planted in the cobbly Tuscan Red Hill Series soils that Frank claimed was the oldest block on the ranch - that would mean it was planted sometime around 1900. “Frank’s Block” is low production – around a ton and a half per acre – and includes Carignane and Alicante Bouchet in the mix.
Grape / Blend
83% Zinfandel, 9% Carignane & 8% Alicante Bouschet
Dry Creek Valley, California
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
The vineyard is traditionally farmed—head-pruned, deep-plowed, cross-cultivated, and dry-farmed. The wine that I make from this vineyard is a co- fermented mix of 75% Zinfandel and equal parts of Carignane and Alicante Bouschet. This blend provides ripe fruit flavors from the Zinfandel, acidity and depth from the Carignane, and dark tones and color from the Alicante Bouschet. The wines can be dramatic and intense. The 2019 Teldeschi Zinfandel has a lovely deep color. The nose is a perfumed mix of black cherries, citrus zest, vanilla, and exotic spice. The mouth feel is round and silky smooth. The finish is fresh, bright, fruitful, balanced, and persistent. Delicious now, this wine will provide drinking pleasure for many more years. 115-year-old vines.
100 Points - Ian Blackburn
This is mind altering stuff. As a Zinfandel producer, I have a unique look into the subtleties and intricacies of this important California grape varietal. The grape is such an amazing story teller, and here it is in the hands of a master poet. The fruit from some of the oldest vines existence, is crafted into a manuscript of "how to do this well." This wine falls into a luxury level category - "wines I can just smell to enjoy" - I don't even need to drink this - I just want to smell it. If you're into sensory stimulation, this is viagra for your palate. Don't get me wrong, the wine tastes amazing but any great wine is about 75% nose and 25% mouth - as we can taste 5 things and smell thousands. Just read other reviews and start to account the notes.... they are limitless. A kiss of floral, a squeeze of toasted orange peal, a dab of balsamic, a sea of dense deep fruits... you can get lost in this wine. The mouth is round and lavish, yet nothing is over done, over ripe, or over oaked... again this wine is poetry. Color 15, Aroma 25, Body 25, Overall 35 - my first 100 point score for a Zinfandel. Bravo.
95 Points - Vinous
The 2019 Zinfandel Teldeschi Vineyard Frank’s Block, from the oldest block on the estate (planted in 1904) is bright, punchy and full of character. Vivid and so alive in the glass, the 2019 is absolutely compelling right out of the bottle. Red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, rose petal, mint and blood orange build in a creamy, beautifully textured Zinfandel-based wine loaded with character. Old-vine Carignane and Alicante Bouschet round out the blend. The Teldeschi is a real standout.
Product size: 750ml