Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2012 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The September Zinfandel of the Month is the 2012 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch.

Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Rhone style wines.

When I first became interested in Zinfandel the buzz was always around the Three R’s of Zinfandel: Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. 25 years later Ridge is still at the top of its game, turning out single vineyard Zinfandel from some of California’s most precious vineyards.

Pagani Ranch is just off Highway 12 in the Glen Ellen area of Sonoma County. Angela and Felice Pagani came to Sonoma County from Italy, purchased the property and planted the vineyard in the early 1900’s. The fruit goes to Ridge, Bedrock, Carlisle and St. Francis.

Crimson in color. 14.1% ABV. 90% Zinfandel, 9% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro. Brambly nose of black fruits, pepper and cocoa powder. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Juicy with a touch of minerality. Blackberry, raspberry liqueur and boysenberry on the palate. The finish is long and sweet. Absolutely delicious Zinfandel. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 93 points.

The 2014 Ridge Pagani was just released and is a bargain at about $32 per bottle.

I wrote about Pagani Ranch previously in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

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