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, Seghesio, Biale and Carlisle.
Magenta in color. 14.8% ABV. 83% Zinfandel, 16% Alicante Bouchet and 1% Petite Sirah. Sublime nose blue fruits, white pepper and and anise. Full bodied with medium acidity. Sweet, jammy and unctuous. Boysenberry, blueberry liqueur and milk chocolate on the palate. The finish is long and sweet. This wine has a hint of residual sugar making for a delicious, hedonistic Zinfandel. I suspect this wine will age well. Drink over the next 6-8 years.
My rating: 92 points.
The 2014 Ridge Pagani is on the shelves 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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