Joel believes that picking the fruit earlier produces much more enjoyable, interesting, complex, and finer wines; we certainly agree. The combination of old vines, deep sandy soils and cool afternoon breezes results in a truly graceful Mataro.
The incredibly sandy soil of the Oakley Road vineyard is key to the survival of the over 100 year old ungrafted vines. The Phylloxera inhibiting properties has kept the pests away, leaving these beautifully gnarly vines intact and producing an almost unrivalled intensity to the fruit.
The nose gives pure cassis and sweet spice, with nots of smoke, soft cherry, plum and pot-pourri flavours emerging on the palate. This concentrated fruit is complemented by a bright backbone of acidity and soft rounded tannins.
After nearly 45 years in the wine business, Joel Peterson has returned to his roots with Once & Future, a small, hands on project focusing on pure expressive wines from unique historic vineyards in California. Some of the sites he works with are over 100 years old, and many are ungrafted.
Zinfandel is a passion of his, he helped found ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) and supports the Historic Vineyard Society. He's returned to many of the original vineyards: Oakley, Sangiacomo and Teldeschi that he became familiar with while at Ravenswood. These are joined by the acclaimed Bedrock vineyard which he bought with his son Morgan to avoid it being ripped up.
Joel describes the project best: “Once and Future is the return to the original vision I had for Ravenswood so many years ago - a small project specialising in wines from unique older vineyards, made with a sensitivity to place and in a style that I personally love and believe in - wines that force me to dust off the old redwood vats… wines that dye my hands a harvest shade of black/purple and sometimes force me to take an additional Ibuprofen in the morning. In short - wines of sweat, commitment, and love.”
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