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Once & Future 2018 Zinfandel

An email this morning highlighting the latest offerings from Joel Peterson’s Once & Future Zinfandels. I know there are some fans amongst members here, so highlighting the available 2018 vintage…

Known quite rightly as ‘The Godfather of Zin’, Joel Peterson is a living legend of California winemaking. With his days at the famous Ravenswood Winery behind him, the Once and Future wines are now his passion.

These are among California’s most talked-about wines for a reason. We are very proud to have first launched them in the UK two years ago, and the 2018s should not be missed.

Buy them here

Extraordinary wines from extraordinary vines
Working with vineyards and friends Joel has known over his entire career, his Once and Future portfolio shows off some of California’s oldest and most exciting sites – most of them are over 100 years old.

Joel believes zinfandel can show site-specific terroir ‘as acurately as any pinot or nebbiolo’. To prove it, he went back to basics in the winery, resurrected his old redwood vats first used when he was starting out, and set about nurturing these low yields of complex and intense fruit. The results are vibrant and intense in their youth, as Joel famously said, he’d never make a ‘wimpy wine’ and all will age beautifully if you can resist them.


Thanks for flagging - interesting timing this since they’ve been around on the website for some time. When I got the email I clicked the link hoping that they had updated this offer to include a mixed case but no such luck. At these prices these wines are crying out for a mixed case and yes - I know - if not COVID no doubt there would have been one…all the same such a shame!

I went looking for a mixed case too…

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Were there more last year? I looked up the one I had and it’s not offered again which is a shame, it was delicious and on the more affordable end. Tempted but will pass on these.

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This. Why can’t they do a mixed case?! I’m a newbie to these wines and I want to taste across the wines!

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Wouldn’t be too bad either if they were in sixes, but not sure I want 12 of any of them. I considered mixing a case for future withdrawal as TWS also have the Forcini 2016 and Sondini 2017 but still umming and ahhing. There is a zinfandel shaped hole in the wine cellar but can’t convince myself of these yet.

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After watching the Zoom with Joel Peterson I bought a case (12 ) Oakley Road - because at the time you could only order a full case.

Now TWS allow one to mix your own case, I bought on ‘click & collect’ a six pack of the other three.


The Link if anyone i interested!


I had a couple of bottles of the Sodini a few months ago and loved it both times. On the strength of that, there’s a bottle each of the three swanky ones in my next set of three mixed cases, created when I got a bit trigger happy with my wish list.

Completely agree, though, that a lovely mixed case of Once and Future would have been great, maybe with some special tasting notes or info to guide us through.


I went to the O&F dinner held in spring last year and ended up making a self-mixed case containing two each of the three Zins offered plus some red Rhone that also needed 5-10 years. My take on the O&F wines, and it’s the same for the Ridge Zins, is that they need a while to integrate and become less aggressively fruity. Especially with food, though, they could be approached earlier.


The Once & Future website has tasting notes plusdescriptions and photo’s of the vineyards. The Zoom session with Joel Peterson also did, plus he talked about his history and plans.

I’m sorry Joel’s negative and condescending comments about Primitivo in the session have put me off trying his wines, as i like Ridge a lot. A little more humility wouldn’t go amiss. Haven’t seen any Argentinian Malbec producers dissing Cahors… bit too much American arrogance there :slightly_frowning_face:

If I had the time I’d rewatch because tho’ I recall he didn’t have much time for Primitivo I didn’t get the same negative feelings you did. No clear what the link to Ridge is, because AFAK they don’t make Primitivo.

They were selling Primitivo vines at Amador County Grape Growers fair when I was there a decade or so and I couldn’t understand why as Primitivo was supposed to be the same as Zin. But the two have obviously diverged a lot, and IMO they don’t taste the same.

As far as I’m concerned they’re different clones, but the same grape. And as such both Ridge and Peterson make Primitivo!

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They are definitely different clones of the same variety, as are Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio and like those two don’t make the same wines, neither do (IMO) Zinfandel and Primitivo.

Unfortunately because there is much more Italian Primitivo on the market than California Zin.

I think Zinfandel and Primitivo are pretty similar when grown in a hot climate. I think the Cali examples with a more red-fruited profile probably come from more ocean-influenced areas?

Basically I don’t like most Zinfandel/Primitivo, but there are a few (of each) that i like a lot. I’d like to have seen Joel express some interest in and respect for the best examples (e.g. Fatalone), that’s all.

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