Ridge 2012 Pagani Ranch Zinfandel
2012 Pagani Ranch, bottled March 2014
90% zinfandel, 9% alicante bouschet, 1% mataró (mourvèdre)
Sonoma Valley AVA
14.1% alcohol by volume
Winemaker Eric Baugher's notes (back label text) -
Sonoma Valley's cool climate can be challenging for ripening zinfandel, and 2012
turned un-seasonably cool in summer and early fall, delaying harvest. Each of the
eight parcels fermented separately. After pressing, and completion of an
uninoculated malolactic, the lots were blind-tasted; five were selected for this
wine. Aged in american oak, it clarified by settling. Its full — but
moderate — ripeness and firm acid show sensationalfruit and elegant
structure. Approachable now, it will be most enjoyable over the next five to
seven years. EB (12/13)
Tasting Notes - Deep garnet color; ripe stone fruit aroma, with tart
strawberry and oak spice; medium full entry, sweet-tart cherry fruit, multi-layered,
mineral, earthy, coated tannins, firm acid, moderately long finish. -Eric Baugher
Video Tasting Note
Presented by winemaker Eric Baugher
Since 1991, Ridge has made zinfandel from the
old Pagani vineyard on the east-facing side of
Sonoma Valley. Almost all the vines here were
planted more than a hundred years ago. Pagani
Ranch is a fine example of what we look for in
a vineyard: low-yielding old vines, carefully
tended by a quality-conscious family who, in
this case, have worked the land for four
generations. The vineyard's long survival is
proof of its merit. An average site would have
been abandoned during the thirteen years of
Prohibition, or during the Depression.
First RIDGE Zinfandel Pagani Ranch: 1991
Location: Northern Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County.
Elevation: 100' - 150'
Soils: Gravelly clay loam
Vines: Zinfandel interplanted with minor amounts of petite sirah and alicante
bouschet; all 30 acres planted from 1896 to 1922.
Training: Head trained (no trellis), cane pruned.
Yields: 1.75 tons per acre
Climate: Cool, foggy mornings; warm days.
Exposure: Rolling, east-facing slopes.
Owner: Pagani family
Aerial View - Pagani Ranch
View Larger Map
GPS coordinates: 38° 23' 40.96" N, 122° 31' 45.94" W
Note: there is no tasting room at Pagani Ranch. To learn more about visiting Ridge
Vineyards, click here.
Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Weather: Warm spring and long, mild summer.
Harvest Dates: 10-12 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.1°
Fermentation: Full crush, floating cap. Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 57% three
years old, 18% four years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
Hand harvested Pagani Ranch grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the
native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria;
0.36 grams/liter calcium carbonate added to 7 of 8 fermentors during fermentation
to moderate excessive natural acidity; minimum effective sulfur for this wine
(28 ppm at crush, 119 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad
filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention,
this is the sum of our actions.
||60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)
SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
California Grapevine (Vol. 40, November 2014):
"Medium-dark to dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, deep,
intense, briary, black cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with
hints of dried herbs and green olive; full body; rich, briary,
cedary, spicy, red and black fruit flavors with bright acidity
and a tight grip on the finish; medium-full tannin; lingering
aftertaste. Will benefit with a few more years of bottle aging.
Very highly recommended."
(Group Score: 16.2 of 20 points, 0/3/1; My
Score: 17 (92/100), second place)
Vinous Media (July 2014): "The 2012 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch wraps around
the palate with silky, perfumed fruit and tons of varietal character. The late harvest
in this cool, Sonoma Valley site yielded a ripe, intensely aromatic Zinfandel with
notable persistence and sweet, suave tannins. As opposed to many other Ridge's other
Sonoma wines, Pagani Ranch is predominantly Zinfandel, and that is exactly what comes
through." -Antonio Galloni (Rated: 91+)
review online at VinousMedia.com (may require subscription)
- Connoisseurs' Guide (January 2015):
"Deeply fruited and juicy right from the first with a strong blackberry bias and a nice dollop
of sympathetic oak running its length, the Pagani Ranch bottling is a bit riper in tone than its Lytton
Springs partner, but it is no less neatly balanced and shows a very professional winemaking hand. We
like its generosity and its rich, easy-to-access fruit, but for all of its open appeals, it is so well
put together that it will only get better and better with age."
Rated: 91 (**)