A. Rafanelli

Unfiltered Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

9.2976 ratings
9.1164 pro ratings
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA
Zinfandel
Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, White Rice, Pasta, Potato, Herbs, Mushrooms, Soft Cheese, Chili & Hot Spicy, Tomato-Based, Duck, Exotic Spices, Beans & Peas, Hard Cheese, Pork, Baking Spices, Pungent Cheese, Beef, Onion, Shallot, Garlic
Top Notes For
Jay Kline

Birth year wine for my daughter and since we had some family over and I had a couple bottles of this, I figured it might be fun to check in on it. The cork pulled perfectly with a thick cake of sediment on the end but no sign of creep. The wine pours the deepest of ruby colors, bordering purple. The core is completely utterly opaque with moderate staining of the tears. Medium+ viscosity and there is quite a bit of fine sediment clinging to the side of the glass. High intensity on the nose with an enormous amount of ripe fruits: dark cherries, spices and the most charming kiss of Brett giving it a slightly rustic sort of sensibility while remaining unmistakably New World. This just has Rafanelli’s DNA all over it. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium tannin (which is fairly well integrated at this point) and medium+ acid. Drop dead gorgeous fruit, some of it desiccated, confirming the dark cherries with some dark brambles mixed in for good measure along with baking spice, leather, and pipe tobacco. A wonderfully long finish and the texture gorgeous, completely enthralling. This vintage is voluptuous, sexy and real. Ready to drink now however it should drink very well over the next 5-10 years. The last glass was full of fine sediment.

Birth year wine for my daughter and since we had some family over and I had a couple bottles of this, I figured it might be fun to check in on it. The cork pulled perfectly with a thick cake of sediment on the end but no sign of creep. The wine pours the deepest of ruby colors, bordering purple. The core is completely utterly opaque with moderate staining of the tears. Medium+ viscosity and there is quite a bit of fine sediment clinging to the side of the glass. High intensity on the nose with an enormous amount of ripe fruits: dark cherries, spices and the most charming kiss of Brett giving it a slightly rustic sort of sensibility while remaining unmistakably New World. This just has Rafanelli’s DNA all over it. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium tannin (which is fairly well integrated at this point) and medium+ acid. Drop dead gorgeous fruit, some of it desiccated, confirming the dark cherries with some dark brambles mixed in for good measure along with baking spice, leather, and pipe tobacco. A wonderfully long finish and the texture gorgeous, completely enthralling. This vintage is voluptuous, sexy and real. Ready to drink now however it should drink very well over the next 5-10 years. The last glass was full of fine sediment.

Jan 11th, 2022
Jay Kline

Deep ruby with a very youthful look about it. Lots of sediment though. In fact, the bottle was coated has that “patinated” look; when the sediment appears to cake on the side of the bottle. Medium+ viscosity. On the nose, brambles, dried dark fruits, leather, earth, black pepper and baking space. On the pallet this wine is rather opulent with ripe dark cherry and bramble fruits, tobacco, some pepper and baking spice too. The finish is so long and dry. Acid is medium as are the tannins which, are mostly integrated at this point. A very beautiful wine that seems to be aging very well indeed. Should be fabulous at 20 years and probably well beyond.

Deep ruby with a very youthful look about it. Lots of sediment though. In fact, the bottle was coated has that “patinated” look; when the sediment appears to cake on the side of the bottle. Medium+ viscosity. On the nose, brambles, dried dark fruits, leather, earth, black pepper and baking space. On the pallet this wine is rather opulent with ripe dark cherry and bramble fruits, tobacco, some pepper and baking spice too. The finish is so long and dry. Acid is medium as are the tannins which, are mostly integrated at this point. A very beautiful wine that seems to be aging very well indeed. Should be fabulous at 20 years and probably well beyond.

Sep 30th, 2021
Michael L S

Brilliant claret style zin. Wonderful nose, still strong structure and freshness. Excellent.

Brilliant claret style zin. Wonderful nose, still strong structure and freshness. Excellent.

Mar 27th, 2021
Jay Kline

Presented double-blind; cloudy in the glass, sediment?…almost opaque but not quite. Color a deep ruby with a slightly lighter rim. Aromas of red and dark fruits with baking spice and damp forest floor. On the palate, very generous black and red fruit with baking spice, earth and leather. Apparent use of some new French oak. Medium plus alcohol, medium acid. Tannins are soft and integrated. Long, immensely satisfying finish. Most thought it had 5-10 years of age on it; Napa or Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. Some thought Southern Rhone…noting that it shared some similarities in profile to Pegau and Rayas (!!!). Everyone swooned with it was revealed to be 2007 Rafanelli Zinfandel. FWIW, this wine has many years ahead of it.

Presented double-blind; cloudy in the glass, sediment?…almost opaque but not quite. Color a deep ruby with a slightly lighter rim. Aromas of red and dark fruits with baking spice and damp forest floor. On the palate, very generous black and red fruit with baking spice, earth and leather. Apparent use of some new French oak. Medium plus alcohol, medium acid. Tannins are soft and integrated. Long, immensely satisfying finish. Most thought it had 5-10 years of age on it; Napa or Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. Some thought Southern Rhone…noting that it shared some similarities in profile to Pegau and Rayas (!!!). Everyone swooned with it was revealed to be 2007 Rafanelli Zinfandel. FWIW, this wine has many years ahead of it.

Jan 6th, 2021
Ian Staub

Really surprised and delighted by the freshness and fruit purity on this bottle. Unlike so many Cali zins this doesn’t rely on oak flavor to round out the rough edges - lovely brambly berries and ripe cherries all the way.

Really surprised and delighted by the freshness and fruit purity on this bottle. Unlike so many Cali zins this doesn’t rely on oak flavor to round out the rough edges - lovely brambly berries and ripe cherries all the way.

Dec 28th, 2020
Jay Kline

Brambles, plums, anise, freshly oiled baseball glove, mushrooms, and black pepper on the nose. On the palate: brambles, dark cherries, espresso, tobacco. Medium acid...still a touch tannic. So enjoyable. A wine in a great place.

Brambles, plums, anise, freshly oiled baseball glove, mushrooms, and black pepper on the nose. On the palate: brambles, dark cherries, espresso, tobacco. Medium acid...still a touch tannic. So enjoyable. A wine in a great place.

Nov 27th, 2020
Paco Suro

With some age this is excellent.

With some age this is excellent.

Jul 2nd, 2020
Jay Kline

Popped and poured. Drank in a large line up of great wines so no formal notes but this was really good. The 2014 is more red fruited than usual and carries a light touch of Brettanomyces which is somewhat more typical in their Zinfandel. If memory serves me correctly, this vintage was delicious and easy to drink on release. That being said, I am happy to report that it's aging gracefully. I have one remaining bottle that I am in no particular rush to drink.

Popped and poured. Drank in a large line up of great wines so no formal notes but this was really good. The 2014 is more red fruited than usual and carries a light touch of Brettanomyces which is somewhat more typical in their Zinfandel. If memory serves me correctly, this vintage was delicious and easy to drink on release. That being said, I am happy to report that it's aging gracefully. I have one remaining bottle that I am in no particular rush to drink.

Mar 25th, 2020
Tom Casagrande

For decades this have been one of my all time favorite Zins. It rarely disappoints. Such a classic nose. Sultry spicy and ripe blackberry. Nice gravelly notes, which I associate with Dry Creek. Big and kind of masculine in the mouth, but not in a jammy sense, more like a structured sense. Fair amount of tannin and a very clingy, intense finish. Full body, with the 14.7 fairly well, but not completely, hidden. Excellent

For decades this have been one of my all time favorite Zins. It rarely disappoints. Such a classic nose. Sultry spicy and ripe blackberry. Nice gravelly notes, which I associate with Dry Creek. Big and kind of masculine in the mouth, but not in a jammy sense, more like a structured sense. Fair amount of tannin and a very clingy, intense finish. Full body, with the 14.7 fairly well, but not completely, hidden. Excellent

Mar 8th, 2020
Tobin Trevarthen

A big berry jammy spectacle in my glass. Black fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, and olioberry. Don’t remember ever having a bad Rafanelli.

A big berry jammy spectacle in my glass. Black fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, and olioberry. Don’t remember ever having a bad Rafanelli.

Jun 28th, 2019