Once & Future

VISIT THIS PRODUCER'S WEBSITE
Country of Origin: USA
Location: Napa Valley, California
People: Joel Peterson, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Once & Future 2019 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County Login AG 92 In Stock
Once & Future 2019 Petite Sirah, Palisades Vineyard, Calistoga Login AG 93 In Stock
Once & Future 2019 'Frank's Block' Zinfandel, Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Login AG 95 WA 93 In Stock
Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley Login AG 94 In Stock
Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Green & Red Vineyard, Napa Valley Login AG 94 W&S 95 In Stock
Once & Future 2017 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County Login WS 92 AG 90 WA 92 In Stock
Once & Future 2018 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County Login AG 92+ WS 92 In Stock
Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County Login AG 93 In Stock

Joel Peterson started Ravenswood in 1976 to focus on his love of Zinfandel.

He planned to make single vineyard wines in a somewhat gothic, old world style. He wanted to make wine similar to that made in Europe but with a Californian twist; small open topped redwood fermenters, hand punch downs, extended macerations, native yeast, gentle transfer, minimal processing and small French oak aging – all done by hand. His hope was that the winery, if lucky, would grow to six or seven thousand cases. For a number of reasons, mostly dealing with the hard realities of cash flow and the necessity of equity partners, he found himself unable to make the vision of a small winery into a reality. Though he was able to make single vineyard wines that helped redefine the qualitative ceiling of California’s old vines, Ravenswood also started to make a wine called ‘Vintners Blend’ that proved immensely popular. Thanks to that, starting in 1983, seven years after the first vintage, Ravenswood began to grow. Over the following three decades its annual production kicked up to nearly one million cases, at one point becoming the bestselling red Zinfandel brand in the world.

Along the way, Joel watched and participated in the growth and maturation of the California wine business. He saw the increased sophistication of an expanding wine consumer population, and worked with some of the best, most talented and nicest people in the wine business. Joel was extremely influential in the California wine industry; he was the President of Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers, one of the founders ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), President of ZAP two times, key supporter and consultant to the Historic Vineyard Society, and an inductee into the Vintners Hall of Fame. What makes Joel most proud is his son, Morgan Twain-Peterson, who has chosen winemaking as his career and runs the highly innovative and successful Bedrock Wine Co.

While proud of his Ravenswood legacy, Joel Peterson has decided after nearly 45 years in the wine business to return to his roots!

Once & Future is the return to the original vision Joel had for Ravenswood so many years ago – a small project specializing in wines from unique, older vineyards, made with a sensitivity to place and in a style that he personally loves and believes in. Once & Future are wines that force Joel to dust off the old redwood vats and get out a new punch down tool (his original one is in the Smithsonian). Once & Future are wines that dye his hands a harvest shade of black/purple and sometimes force him to take an additional Ibuprofen in the morning. In short – Once & Future are wines of sweat, commitment, and love.

Vinous 1/2021
"It’s always a pleasure to taste with Joel Peterson, as he is a veritable fountain of knowledge when it comes to the history of California vineyards and wines. Peterson describes 2019 as a relatively moderate growing season, but with more notable weather events than 2018, including rain in May and several heat spikes towards the end of the season. The 2019s aren’t as consistently brilliant as the 2018s, but that is interesting in a different way because there is more distinction between sites. Certainly, the character of the very best vineyards in this range comes through loud and clear, and that is what these wines are ultimately all about - expressions of place. The 2019s were fermented in open-top redwood tanks, with indigenous fermentations, and aged in French oak. Readers will find these wines endowed with terrific energy, vibrancy and character."

Wine Advocate 12/2019
"The texture of these wines is one of their hallmarks: silky, softly grainy tannins balanced by juicy acidity, with restrained, elegant fruits and none of the rusticity sometimes associated with Zinfandel. Bravo!"

Vinous 5/2019
"Joel Peterson is one of the seminal figures in American wine, and yet he remains incredibly down to earth, with a level of youthful passion and excitement that is great to see. The 2017s are strong across the board, even if some of the wines show the effects of the heat spikes that conditioned the growing season."

Vinous 4/2018
"Joel Peterson is one of the deans of American wine. These new releases from Peterson's new Once & Future label embody the experience Peterson gained through decades of working with top sites in Sonoma during his lengthy and illustrious career at Ravenswood."


Media Links
I'll Drink to That!: Episode 460: Joel Peterson and the Winemaking American Dream
San Francisco Chronicle: Joel Peterson set the course for California Zin. Now he returns to his roots
The Press Democrat: Still no wimpy wines for Sonoma winemaker Joel Peterson's new Once & Future label
Forbes: To Discover the Magic of Good Zinfandel, Ask this Winemaker

Social Media
Instagram: @raven1947zsxs

Reviews

  • Once & Future 2017 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 92 (6/30/2019)

    Refined, svelte and well-built, with elegantly layered black raspberry, zesty jalapeño and licorice flavors that finish with refined tannins. Drink now through 2026. 226 cases made.
  • Once & Future 2017 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    Vinous
    Rating: 90 (5/1/2019)

    The 2017 Zinfandel Oakley Road Vineyard handled the rigors of the growing season with more success than the Mataro. Floral notes add lift to the red stone fruit Zinfandel flavors. Silky, aromatically open and inviting, the 2017 has a lot to offer. I would prefer to drink it over the near and medium term.
  • Once & Future 2017 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92 (2/6/2020)

    The 2017 Zinfandel Oakley Road Vineyard comes from own-rooted, head-pruned, 117-year-old vines grown in sandy soils. It was harvested August 30 and aged in 30% new French oak. Medium ruby-purple, it has aromas of stone-fruit salad, pipe tobacco, black cherries, earth, dried leaves, chargrill and a red berry core. Medium-bodied, it offers intense, earth-laced fruits, a firmer, grainy frame and great freshness to lift the long finish. This combines restraint with power and merits another couple of years in bottle.
  • Once & Future 2018 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    Vinous
    Rating: 92+ (4/1/2020)

    The 2018 Zinfandel Oakley Road Vineyard is laced with gorgeous floral and savory notes that give the wine such a distinctive personality. Rose petal, sage, mint and wild flowers are all beautifully lifted in this exquisite Zinfandel. I won't be surprised if the 2018 is even better with a bit more bottle age. Today, it comes across as somewhat closed.
  • Once & Future 2018 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 92 (6/15/2020)

    Supple and expressive, with a rich core of raspberry, fresh violet and dried sage flavors that pick up speed toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029.
  • Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (1/15/2021)

    The 2019 Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard packs a serious punch, as all wines do from this site. Black cherry, plum, licorice, leather and spice give this dense, muscular wine tons of character. As always, the Bedrock is a distinguished wine with tons of complexity and power that derives from a Zinfandel-based field blend complemented with a good deal of mixed blacks and the naturally small clusters that form here. The 2019 is a big wine that needs a bit of cellaring to shine.
  • Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Green & Red Vineyard, Napa Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 94 (1/15/2021)

    The 2019 Zinfandel Green & Red Vineyard is just stellar. It stands out for its silkiness and magnificent finesse. Freshly cut flowers, mint, crushed red berry fruit and orange peel are some of the many notes that grace this ezquisite Zinfandel. All the elements fall into balance. Bright acids perk up the finish. Green & Red (sometimes referred to as Heminway) is named after the two main soil types on the property - red Chert and green Serpentine.
  • Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Green & Red Vineyard, Napa Valley
    Wine & Spirits
    Rating: 95 (6/21/2021)

    The Tip Top Vineyard was the last and highest parcel Jay Heminway planted in the hills of his Green & Red estate. It’s a steep, northeast-facing ridge that provided some of his most compelling zinfandels and petite sirahs. After Heminway passed away in 2019, his daughter Tobin has been running the vineyard and winery, and she began selling fruit to other zinfandel loyalists, including Joel Peterson. This wine is an 80/20 blend of zinfandel and petite from Tip Top, and it is an old-fashioned California beauty. Petite grounds the wine with substantial power, but zin keeps it light and filigreed, with floral scents of raspberries and roses, fragrant and delicate to the point of being lacy. This is fresh and detailed, suited to age but hard to resist drinking right now.
  • Once & Future 2019 Petite Sirah, Palisades Vineyard, Calistoga
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (1/15/2021)

    The 2019 Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard is laced with the essence of creme de cassis, blueberry, spice, leather and licorice. The tannins are especially suave for this Calistoga site, where the wines have often been bigger. A cool end to the season and long macerations probably explain most of the wine's personality. The 2019 spent about two weeks on the skins following the alcoholic fermentation and was aged partly in larger format 600-liter barrels, again, with the goal of reducing the impact of tannins from oak.
  • Once & Future 2019 'Frank's Block' Zinfandel, Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 95 (1/15/2021)

    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.
  • Once & Future 2019 'Frank's Block' Zinfandel, Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (6/3/2021)

    The 2019 Zinfandel Teldeschi Vineyard Frank’s Block, deep ruby-purple in color, unfurls slowly to very pretty scents of tangerine and blue and red berry preserves, layers of dried lavender, garrigue and apricot. The palate is medium-bodied and seamless, with layers of berry fruit and spice supported by a grainy frame, and it finishes long and juicy.
  • Once & Future 2019 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (1/15/2021)

    The 2019 Mataro Oakley Road is a very pretty, aromatic wine from dry-farmed, own-rooted vines planted in the 1880s on sandy soils. Crushed red berries, spice, cedar and floral overtones grace this super-expressive, inviting wine. A touch of sweetness from the new French oak (25%) is nicely integrated.
  • Once & Future 2019 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (1/15/2021)

    The 2019 Zinfandel Oakley Road is bright and effusive, with tons of character. Sweet red berry fruit, rose petal and mint are beautifully layered together. Creamy and resonant in the glass, the Zinfandel is quite expressive today, in the understated style of the year. Dollops of Carignane and Mataro round out the Zinfandel-based field blend.