Wine of the week: the world’s greatest zinfandel

2017 Once & Future zinfandel

2017 Once & Future, Teldeschi Frank’s Block Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley, California £47.40, Indigo Wine, 020-7733 8391, info@indigowine.com (minimum order is £200)

If you have ever enjoyed the wines from the famous Ravenswood portfolio or indeed the lusty red grape zinfandel, then pay attention. This wine is made by Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood back in 1976. Over the years I have written up more of Joel’s zinfandels than every other zin producer on earth added together. Joel sold his brand to Constellation in 2001 and he continued consulting until 2015. He then embarked on the most audacious winemaking journey of his life, Once & Future, the only rule being that he makes every single wine himself by hand.

His knowledge of California’s old vines is second to none and at a recent tasting in London I scored my old pal’s wines higher than anything I have seen from over the pond in decades. All newly released 2017s, a few zins, a mataro and a stellar petite sirah all blew me away, but when I tasted Frank’s Block my palate went into orbit.

Only 252 cases were made from 113-year-old vines, planted on Tuscan Red Hills series soils, which are dry farmed. This is a truly great wine with fabulous black-cherry fruit, and impeccable lift and brightness, coupled with thrilling acidity on the finish. The tannins alone are sensational. I gave it 19.5/20 in my notes and this makes it the highest scoring zin of my life.

Indigo is the importer and it has kindly offered to sell it to you direct before it makes its way out onto the market. Do not pass up this opportunity.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)