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 2020 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Pagani Ranch.
I chose this wine as the Zinfandel of the month in advance of its release this fall. Lytton Springs and Geyserville have always been the mainstays of collectors but in recent years the Pagani Ranch has emerged as my favorite from that trio.
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. John Olney is Head Winemaker at Ridge. Shauna Rosenblum was recently named the Winemaker at Ridge Lytton Springs.
Purple in color. 13.8% ABV. 90% Zinfandel, 6% Petite Sirah and 4% Alicante Bouschet. Stunning nose of red fruits, peach and baking spices. Medium body with perfect acidity. Sleek and silky with an abundance of bright, juicy fruits. Cherry, raspberry liqueur, cranberry and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and supple. Ridge Pagani has been on a great run since the 2018 vintage. I’ll be a buyer of this wine. Best over the next 5-7 years. $42 at the winery and retail.
My rating: 95 points.
Review based on a sample provided by the winery.
Ridge has been defined by their Zin program for as long as I can remember and in recent years these wines have soared to new heights.
The entire Ridge lineup is available at the winery and for the most part at retail as well. Exceptional wines that are fairly priced, well crafted and easy to find. Everyone is always looking for the latest and greatest when it comes to wine. Sometimes it pays to stick with the tried and true. There is so much to like here.