Ridge 2011 Ponzo Zinfandel
2011 Zinfandel, Ponzo Vineyard, bottled December 2012
97% zinfandel, 3% petite sirah
Russian River Valley AVA
14.1% alcohol by volume
Winemaker John Olney's notes (back label text) -
Late spring rains reduced yields for a second year, and cool summer
temperatures slowed ripening. Fortunately, heat in mid-September
fully matured the fruit just before the first fall rains. We
harvested Triangle and Old Vine blocks on September 24, and Back
block on October 1. After natural primary and malolactic
fermentations, the three were combined and racked to barrel for
twelve months of aging. The 2011 Ponzo has the intense fruit
typical of a Russian River vineyard, and the bright acidity
characteristic of the vintage. This elegant zinfandel will be
most enjoyable over the next three to five years. JO (9/12)
Tasting Notes - Vibrant ruby, floral nose with notes
of black pepper, cherry and clove. On palate focused raspberry
with mint and vanilla, moderate alcohol, elegant tannins and
well balanced acidity. JO (7/13)
Video Tasting Note
Presented by winemaker John Olney
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.
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
Rainfall: 40 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Wet spring and atypically cool summer,
with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 24 September and 1 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.5°
Fermentation: No inoculation — natural primary and secondary;
rapid color and tannin extraction. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and
two years old, 40% three and four years old)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand harvested Bob Ponzo vineyard grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented
on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring
bacteria; Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 111 ppm over the course
of aging); aged in oak barrels; 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. 39, November 2013):
"Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, intense,
briary, dark cherry fruit aroma with notes of dill, mocha, and
black pepper; medium-full to full body; spicy, toasty, red berry
fruit flavors with firm acidity; medium-full tannin; slightly tart
on the finish; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended."
(Group Score: 16.0 of 20 points, 0/1/0; My
Score: 17 (90/100), eighth place)