Ridge 2010 Ponzo Zinfandel

2010 Ponzo Zinfandel bottle shot

2010 Ponzo Vineyard, bottled December 2011
96% zinfandel, 4% petite sirah
14.5% alcohol by volume

Winemaker John Olney's notes (back label text) - This year, Bob Ponzo's zinfandel vines benefited from the cooler temperatures typical of the Russian River Valley. Despite late-August heat, morning fog extended ripening, adding complexity to the grapes' aromas and flavors. We harvested the Old Vines and Triangle blocks on October 4, followed by the younger Back Block a week later. After malolactic, we blind-tasted the three, choosing the older two for their exotic fruit. Twenty-five percent new oak adds finesse, complementing the tannins and natural acidity. This elegant zinfandel will be most enjoyable over the next five to seven years. JO (9/11)

Tasting Notes - Nose of raspberries, rose petal and pepper. Medium-full bodied, soft and elegant on the palate, fine tannic structure, finishes with cherry fruit and firm acidity. JO (7/12)


Bob Ponzo has farmed these grapes for us in the Russian River Valley since 1999. Bob's vineyard, on deep gravely loam soils four and a half miles south of Lytton Springs provides all the fruit for this zinfandel. The Russian River Valley's cooler microclimate ripens the grapes shortly after Lytton Springs and Geyserville. Small amounts of petite sirah are interplanted with zinfandel in the oldest block.


Ponzo map

First RIDGE Ponzo: 2002
Location: Russian River Valley, south of Healdsburg on Old Redwood Highway
Soils: Deep, gravelly loam.
Vines: Mixed zinfandel, petite sirah, planted c. 1952, 4.0 acres (old vines).
Zinfandel planted 1992, 3.0 acres. (Triangle)
Zinfandel planted 1999, 5.0 acres. (Back Block)
Training: Majority head trained (no trellis), spur pruned; Back Block cordon trained.
Yields: Two to three tons per acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed

Growing Season

Ponzo vines

Rainfall: 42 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; two very hot days in August (24 & 25) caused fruit damage cutting yields by 50%.


Harvest Dates: 4-12 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.2°
Fermentation: No inoculation — natural primary and secondary; rapid color and tannin extraction. Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 30% one and two years old, 30% three and four years old, and 15% five year old)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel


All grapes hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 151 ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


Bottle UPC Packaged SRP Notes
750mL 744442839001 12x750mL $28 60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)


SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)


  • Wine Spectator Wine Spectator (15 December 2012): "Tightly wound yet richly structured, offering boysenberry and spiced anise aromas, with deep, crisp plum, dill and earthy mineral flavors that finish with big, ripe tannins. Best from 2014 through 2018." -Tim Fish (Rated: 91)