Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2017 Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard

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 2017 Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard.

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. Paul Draper recently retired and John Olney is making the wines at Lytton Springs and Eric Baugher at Monte Bello. 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: RavenswoodRosenblum 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.

Ponzo Vineyard is located on the northernmost edge of the Russian River Valley appellation. It is situated on the slopes above the Russian River, south of the town of Healdsburg.

Magenta in color. 14.6% ABV. 98% Zinfandel and 2% Petite Sirah. Savory nose of brambly black fruits, plums and pepper. Medium to full bodied with tremendous acidity. Crisp, jammy and well balanced. Blackberry, black raspberry, anise and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Glorious Zinfandel from a vineyard that sometimes gets overlooked in the Ridge portfolio. Best over the next 5-7 years. $35 at the winery and retail

My rating: 92 points.

Review based on a sample provided by the winery.

The entire Ridge lineup is mostly available at the winery and retail. Exceptional wines that are fairly priced and easy to find. There is so much to like here.

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