Once & Future

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Country of Origin: USA
Location: Napa Valley, California
People: Joel Peterson, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Once & Future 2016 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros Login AG 93 In Stock
Once & Future 2017 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros Login AG 89 WA 92 In Stock
Once & Future 2018 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros Login AG 93
Once & Future 2017 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County Login AG 88 WA 91 In Stock
Once & Future 2018 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County Login AG 93
Once & Future 2018 Petite Sirah, Palisades Vineyard, Calistoga Login AG 96
Once & Future 2017 'Frances Cuvee' Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley Login
Once & Future 2018 'Frank's Block' Zinfandel, Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Login AG 96
Once & Future 2018 Zinfandel, Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley Login AG 93
Once & Future 2016 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County Login AG 92 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+
Once & Future 2018 Zinfandel, Old Hill Ranch, Sonoma Valley Login AG 95

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.

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 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    Vinous
    Rating: 88 (5/1/2019)

    The 2017 Mataro Oakley Road Vineyard from Once & future is pliant, supple and wonderfully expressive today. Soft, silky tannins make it easy to drink.
  • 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 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (5/1/2019)

    The 2017 Merlot Sangiacomo Vineyard is ripe, pliant and super-expressive. Leather, smoke, cedar, tobacco, incense, blackberry and chocolate all emerge over time. The 2017 is bold and racy, and yet it retains aromatic intensity despite its elevated ripeness. This is a decidedly earthy, savory style of Merlot.
  • Once & Future 2016 Zinfandel, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (4/1/2018)

    Succulent dark cherry, tobacco, spice, cedar and leather flesh out in the 2016 Zinfandel Oakley Road Vineyard. Expressive aromatics give the wine shape and expansiveness that is matched by the raciness of the sweet, pliant fruit. Exuberant and forward, with terrific depth and fine balance, the Zinfandel is a winner from Joel Peterson.
  • Once & Future 2016 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (4/1/2018)

    Another wine of pure pedigree, the 2016 Merlot Sangiacomo Vineyard is fabulous. Graphite, sage, menthol and licorice add shades of complexity to this distinctly potent, savory Merlot. The Sangiacomo is a wine of real distinction and class. It will drink well for many years to come. I loved it.
  • Once & Future 2017 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92 (12/19/2019)

    The 2017 Merlot Sangiacomo Vineyard comes from 33-year-old vines planted in gravelly clay loam, harvested on October 3. It aged in 25% new French oak. Medium to deep ruby, it's scented of cocoa, crushed black cherries, black plum and touches of vanilla bean with red cherry sparks. The palate is medium-bodied and very silky with elegantly restrained fruits, a granulated frame and integrated freshness, finishing long. This is a very pretty and fresh style of Merlot.
  • Once & Future 2017 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91 (2/6/2020)

    The 2017 Mataro Oakley Road Vineyard comes from own-rooted, 117-year-old vines grown in sandy soils. Grapes were harvested on September 2 and aged in 25% new French oak. Medium ruby-purple, it has a bright nose with red berries, dusty earth, Italian plum, leather, cured meats and touches of pepper and rose petals. It’s medium-bodied and silky with elegantly restrained fruits knit by grainy tannins and bright freshness on the long finish.
  • 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, Bedrock Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (4/1/2020)

    The 2018 Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard is a rich, potent wine endowed with real breadth and intensity. The natural weight of this Sonoma Valley site comes through loud and clear. This is a decidedly big, brawny Zinfandel that will appeal most to readers who like bold, larger-scaled wines.
  • Once & Future 2018 Petite Sirah, Palisades Vineyard, Calistoga
    Vinous
    Rating: 96 (4/1/2020)

    The 2018 Petit Sirah Palisades Vineyard is sumptuous, racy and explosive. Inky and voluptuous to the core, with soft curves and tremendous fruit intensity, the 2018 has it all. Crème de cassis, blueberry jam, spice, lavender, menthol and exotic white flowers build as this arrestingly beautiful showstopper opens up with a bit of air. Joel Peterson has done a tremendous job exalting the purity of the fruit, while avoiding the hard tannins that can at times make young Petite hard to approach. In a word...wow!
  • Once & Future 2018 'Frank's Block' Zinfandel, Teldeschi Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 96 (4/1/2020)

    One of the highlights in this range, the 2018 Zinfandel Teldeschi Vineyard Frank's Block is flat-out stunning. In 2018, the Teldeschi soars out of the glass with magnificent aromatic complexity and depth. Inky dark fruit, lavender, spice, menthol, licorice and plum infuse the 2018 with tons of nuance and complexity. But it is the purity of the flavors that elevates the 2018 into the realm of the sublime. Dollops of co-fermented Alicante and Carignane add striking nuance. This is a stellar showing.
  • Once & Future 2018 Mataro, Oakley Road, Contra Costa County
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (4/1/2020)

    The 2018 Mataro Oakley Road Vineyard is soft, fruity and absolutely delicious wine, with lovely red berry, spice and floral character. Bright saline notes extend the finish nicely. Medium in body and supple, with impeccable balance, the 2018 is so delicious. These own-rooted vines planted in the late 1890s confer real depth of flavor as well as personality. This is such a classy wine.
  • 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, Old Hill Ranch, Sonoma Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 95 (4/1/2020)

    The 2018 Zinfandel Old Hill Vineyard is flat-out stunning. Deep, layered and super-expressive, the 2018 offers unreal complexity, much of which comes from the diversity of a field blend of about 14 varieties that includes good bits of Grenache, Mataro, Alicante and Carignane, among others. A wine of total understatement, the 2018 is not obvious, but it has so much going on for readers who can take some time with it. Old Hill is one of the most pedigreed sites in Sonoma Valley. Joel Peterson certainly got every bit of potential out of this fruit in 2018. What a wine!
  • Once & Future 2018 Merlot, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (4/1/2020)

    The 2018 Merlot Sangiacomo Vineyard captures all of the savory intensity and structure of Merlot in Sonoma Valley in what is a cool site mostly planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Dark cherry, chocolate, savory herbs and licorice infuse the 2018 with striking character and complexity.