Ridge 2012 Pagani Ranch

2012 Pagani Ranch

Varietal Information
90% Zinfandel
9% Alicante Bouschet
1% Mataro
14.1% alcohol by volume


91+ points, Antonio Galloni

History

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.

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 10 - 12 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.1 degrees
Fermentation: Full crush, floating cap. Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% one year, 57% two and three years old, 18% four years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel

Growing Season

Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: Warm spring and long, mild summer.

Winemaking

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.

Winemaker 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.

Tasting Notes and Reviews


2007 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2010/1/1


Zinfandel


2007 RIDGE Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley SCORE: 85 5% Alicante Bouschet; 3% Petite Sirah. Pushing its ripeness far beyond what one expects of Ridge and even of the vineyard's propensity for desiccated fruit, this effort may sport a fair bit of blackberry and black soil character, but its dried fruit personality takes it to the edge of excess.

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2006 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2009/1/1


Zinfandel


RIDGE VINEYARDS Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley 2006 SCORE: 95 *** 7% Alicante Bouschet; 3% Petite Sirah; 2% Carignane. In this outing, the Pagani Ranch wine is a touch richer in oak than the family recipe predicts, yet beneath its seductive veneer of vanilla and crème caramel lies lots of deep, delicious, precisely defined zinfandel fruit. Broad and balanced on the palate and firmed by just the right bit of tannin, it ends with an exceptionally long, very rich, berry-like finish and promises to develop nicely over the next three to six years.

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2005 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2007/8/1


ZINFANDEL - More New Releases


2005 Ridge, "Pagani Ranch," Sonoma Valley – Medium ruby; attractive, spicy, herbal, briary, raspberry jam aroma with notes of tobacco and American oak; medium-full body; tight, herbal, spicy, cedary, red berry and cranberry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. Prior vintages have shown better in our tastings. 14.2% alcohol; 1,700 cases; blended with 2% PS, 1% Alicante Bouschet, and 1% Mataro; released September 2007. (Group Score: 16.0,0/2/1; My Score: 16.5 [89/100], seventh place)

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2004 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2007/1/2


Zinfandel


RIDGE VINEYARDS Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley 2004 SCORE: *** 95 16% Alicante Bouschet; 4% Petite Sirah; 4% Other. This wine often reaches exaggerated levels of ripeness and dried grape concentration, but, in the current vintage, it has displays admirable depth and far-ranging fruit without resort to excess To be sure, it is wholly concentrated and shows an emphasis on blackberry fruit but in no way does it approach the 2003 which, despite earning 90 points, was described as "out in front of the pack when it comes to sheer volume and unbridled ripeness". Indeed, there is even a touch of latter palate restraint and tightness to be found in this rendition. This is stunning stuff built along the lines of table wine Zinfandel. Bravo. About Ridge Vineyards The honors for bringing Zinfandel into the limelight belong to many people and none more than the folks at Ridge who discovered four decades ago that old vine Zinfandel produced absolutely magical wine. And while the winery boasts a well-deserved reputation for its Monte Bello Cabernet, it is Zinfandel that has made Ridge into a household name. Indeed, in the very first issue of the Guide, Ridge earned three stars for one of its Zins and multiple stars for its Geyserville bottling. In this issue, the honors are repeated with the Pagani Ranch wine earning three stars and the Geyserville just a point behind. Clearly, Ridge stands at the pinnacle of the Zin sweepstakes.

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2004 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2006/10/1


Zinfandel - New Releases


2004 Ridge, "Pagani Ranch," Sonoma Valley ($35) -- Medium to medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, intense, very spicy, jammy, sweet blackberry fruit aroma with some late harvest character; full body; rich, textured, cedary, chocolatey, jammy, very ripe boysenberry fruit flavors with firm acidity and overtones of creamy oak; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. 14.0% alcohol; 2,100 cases; blended with 16% Alicante, 4% PS, 2% Carignane, and 2% Mataro; released September 2006. Group Score: 16.3, 1/2/2; My Score: 17 [90/100], second place)

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2003 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


W. Blake Gray, San Francisco Chronicle - 2005/7/28


Golden Oldies


2003 Ridge Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley Zinfandel ($35) -- My favorite from this tasting; so alive that I kept smelling it to see what it would do next. At one point it smelled like all red fruit; a few minutes later it was all black. The constantly changing aromas included graphite, licorice, black plum, red currant and plum. Flavors include black plum, raspberry, graphite, licorice and violet. Both delicious and entertaining. There's more than just fruit in old-vine Zinfandel -- its earthy flavors are history in a bottle. "Old vine" on a Zinfandel label can mean the same as "Reserve" on a bottle of Chardonnay -- maybe nothing at all. But "old vine" can mean something special. The wine might come from gnarled vines planted in the 19th century that struggle to concentrate their fading life force into a few tiny clusters of grapes. When it's good, old-vine Zinfandel is the best possible way to taste the history and land of California in a glass. However, there is no legal definition, and no industry standard, either. In the hands of a marketing department, "old vine" might mean the vines are older than their neighbors'. Paul Draper, winemaker and CEO of Ridge Vineyards, says he'd like to see 50 years as a standard, but many winemakers prefer 35, and nobody wants a new law. "All of us agree you don't want more regulation. But you also don't want somebody passing off a 15-year-old block as old vines," Draper says. "The vine has been mature since it was 15 years old. But it is somewhat different at 50, and somewhat different at 100." Often the label should say "old clones," because many wineries use the term to refer to young vines with grafted plant material from an older vineyard. "We've never put 'old vines' on our label," says Doug Beckett, founder and owner of Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles. "To me, it's like saying this is a reserve wine. What's a reserve wine? A lot of people will do things for marketing purposes." There's a good reason marketers want to purloin the term: Truly old-vine Zinfandel is often a thought-provoking, complex wine. Unlike the straightforward fruit of youth, old-vine Zin delivers secondary characteristics like graphite, licorice and slate, and is often very spicy and earthy. There's a reason for this complexity. Rooted deeply in California soil, old Zinfandel vines have weathered a lot since arriving here from the East Coast in the 1850s. "It's almost an accident that we have Zinfandel at all," says Ravenswood Winery winemaker and president Joel Peterson. The grape is not unique to California. UC Davis professor Carole Meredith used DNA testing in 2001 to show Zinfandel is genetically the same as Crljenak (tzerl-YEN-ak) Kastelanski (CK), a wild Croatian grape. CK's route here included a stop in England, where it was usually called Black St. Peters. In the 1820s, a nursery on Long Island was the first in the United States to import it, according to "Zinfandel: A History of the Grape and Its Wine" by Charles Sullivan (University of California Press, 2003). Its hardy nature made it popular as an ornamental and table grape in New England in the 1830s. Where exactly it picked up the name Zinfandel is a mystery to Sullivan, who spent years researching its history. The Gold Rush brought thirsty fortune-seekers to California starting in 1848; many brought grapevines, including this new vine so popular back east. Zin survived winter frosts in Sonoma County and the summer heat of Amador County. California's booming economy of the 1880s led to a huge boost in wine demand, and Zinfandel was planted everywhere. Some of those 1880s vineyards still produce grapes today. There was so much Zin in the 1880s that George West started making a pink wine -- the first "white" Zinfandel. Viticultural commissioner Charles Wetmore liked white Zin so much that he recommended Zinfandel be classified as a white grape in San Joaquin County, a prescient thought. Today, San Joaquin County has almost 20,000 of the 50,000 total acres of Zinfandel in the state, according to the California Agricultural Statistics Service. But most old-vine Zin prized today is grown elsewhere. Sonoma County has many 19th century vineyards with a particularly large pocket near Wood Road in the Russian River Valley. Amador County also has 100- plus-year-old vineyards all over, and lays claim to the oldest vineyard in the state, the Original Grandpere Vineyard, shown by a grant deed in county records to have existed in 1869. Contra Costa, Napa and San Luis Obispo counties, among others, also have old-vine Zin plantings. Though some old vineyards around Lodi produce sought-after fruit, much of the San Joaquin crop goes into White Zinfandel, which is still the third-most popular U.S. varietal by sales volume. White Zin is the main reason Zinfandel is the state's fourth-most-planted wine grape, behind Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. None of the top three were common in California in the 1800s. If you like California old-vine fruit, Zin is the king. Wine snobs like to rag on sweet, pink White Zinfandel. Don't. If you're an old-vine Zin fan and you're in St. Helena, consider visiting Sutter Home Winery -- which reinvented White Zinfandel in 1972 and was selling 1.5 million cases per year of it by 1984 -- and kissing the ground to thank the winery for saving some of the state's most historic vineyards from being ripped out and replanted. "God bless those people who made White Zinfandel," says Jeff Cohn, winemaker for Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda. "Otherwise, we would have nothing. Without Sutter Home, we would've had nothing." The reason California's most distinctive grape needed Sutter Home to save it, by buying all the Zin it could get, dates to the 1890s. Some of the places Zinfandel was planted in the 1880s were winners that endure to this day, but many more were not. Because Zinfandel back then was overplanted and overcropped -- meaning farmers went for big yields at the expense of quality -- Zinfandel's reputation began to tarnish in the 1890s. Unlike Petite Sirah, which lingered anonymously in the same vineyards as Zinfandel for generations, Zin had its reputation on the line every year through a quirk of naming. Until the 1970s, most California wines were called "Burgundy," "Chablis" or similar names based on places in France. Varietal labeling was unusual, but Zinfandel was the exception, perhaps because it was considered California's native variety. That meant in a bad year, people blamed the Zinfandel grape, rather than the vintners, for poor quality. Prohibition could have killed the wine industry in California, but grape growers survived by putting their fruit on trains and shipping it back east, where home winemaking -- which was legal -- became one of America's favorite pastimes overnight. California grapes were the most desirable, and Zinfandel gained a reputation for fruit flavors that endured the stress of shipping. However, when Prohibition ended in 1933, wineries that had managed to survive by selling sacramental wine had lots of old, low-quality, oxidized Zinfandel on hand that was quickly shipped to market. Any reputation boost the grape had gained during Prohibition was lost almost overnight, and wouldn't recover for almost 60 years. In 1973, for example, a Trader Joe's newsletter read: "Tell us the mocking bird's song and we will tell you the Zinfandel's taste. After our blind tasting our panel could form no general conclusion as to what Zinfandel ought to taste like." That's harsh and unfair. One of the charms of old-vine Zin is how it transmits the taste of the terroir -- soil and climate -- where it has spent so many decades. In broad terms, old-vine Zins of Amador County tend to be earthy and spicy, with red-fruit flavors. From Sonoma County, you may get more black- fruit and black-pepper character. Contra Costa County old-vine Zins may have more floral notes. Yet there's tremendous variation; a hillside location or different fog patterns will give one vineyard's wines a consistently different flavor from those of its neighbors. "Old-vine Zinfandel gives us more complex, more terroir-driven, more earthy, more individual flavors," says Draper of Ridge. But older is not necessarily better. If you like brighter fruit -- nothing wrong with that -- old-vine Zin isn't for you. Old-vine Zinfandel is also more challenging to pair with food. I found that I enjoyed drinking my favorites on their own, to better appreciate the way they change as they interact with air (see tasting notes at left). Though it's squeezed from vines struggling every year to survive, old-vine Zin tastes very much alive. Jesse Rodriguez, head sommelier at the French Laundry in Yountville, says he likes to pair old-vine Zins with meats that have sweetness in the sauce, such as braised short-ribs with a brown sugar and shallot sauce, or chicken mole. "You don't want it to be too spicy," says Rodriguez. "Barbecue pork ribs with a dry rub on them -- how great is that? One of our sommeliers likes to put smoky flavors with old-vine Zins, like simple grilled quail." The idea is to accentuate the secondary taste characteristics of old-vine Zin. However, even single-vineyard wines usually have fruit from some newer vines, because vines don't live forever. "You get nuances from the old vines. You get more pure, intense fruit from younger vines," says Draper. "We have young vines on all our old plots for that reason. We don't have a wine that is 100 percent old vines." Moreover, if you're buying a single-vineyard, old-vine wine, it's probably not 100 percent Zinfandel. A true field blend probably includes some Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet and/or Carignane. "Most of these vineyards were planted before modern winemaking techniques of adding acid or whatever," says Ravenswood's Peterson. "You had to plant something to make up for whatever you thought was the deficiency of the grape in that place. If you planted in a place with low color, you planted more Alicante. If the Zinfandel was soft, you planted more Petite Sirah." Peterson and Draper both played roles in the foundation of ZAP -- Zinfandel Advocates & Producers -- in 1991. At first it was a few vintners pouring wines for a few aficionados. Today, the annual ZAP tasting at San Francisco's Fort Mason is the largest public wine tasting in the world -- and it's all Zinfandel. With 275 producers pouring Zinfandel for 10,000 devotees at the ZAP tasting in January, there's a land rush now to find old vineyards. But Rosenblum's Cohn says age alone isn't enough to make an old-vine Zinfandel special. "There has to be the right kind of soil -- rocky soil," says Cohn, who also has his own label, JC Cellars. "You want the vines to work hard. It gives you more intense fruit." Carol Shelton says she is fortunate to make wine from Lopez Vineyard in Cucamonga Valley, between Los Angeles and Palm Springs. The vineyard has freeways on two sides, not unusual in a fast-growing area that once had 40,000 acres of grapes and now has about 600, according to Shelton. "The guy that owns the vineyard isn't making any money," says Shelton, who says the vines -- planted in 1918 for the Prohibition-era home winemaking market -- produced a minuscule quarter ton per acre in 2002. "He's a very wealthy Singapore man. I think he missed his chance to build a shopping center. He's got a lot of investments and so he's just leaving this one alone. That suits me fine." It's amazing that a wine with such a back story, such low yields and such good flavors can be had for just $24 a bottle. In fact, Zinfandel is the greatest bargain among all U.S. wines, according to Gunter Schamel of Humboldt University in Berlin. Schamel compared quality scores with prices for wines reviewed in Wine Spectator magazine and discovered Zinfandel was the most underpriced varietal relative to its quality. (Pinot Noir was the most overpriced.) "We're getting better prices for the top Zinfandels, but it's going to take a long time," says Peterson. "It's almost too familiar to people in California and too unfamiliar to people outside California." So take advantage, Californians, of the opportunity. Those graphite, slate, licorice and violet flavors have been stored in gnarly, brittle, vulnerable vines since before radio was invented. Before highways. Before airplanes. It's your history, Californians. Savor it.

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2003 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2005/10/1


Zinfandel - New Releases


2003 Ridge, "Pagani Ranch," Sonoma Valley ($35) Medium-dark ruby color; attractive, forward, intense, very expressive, jammy, briary, very ripe blackberry fruit aroma; full body; big, forward, rich, mouth-filling, concentrated, very ripe raspberry fruit flavors with firm acidity; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Shows a very ripe, late picked character. Very highly recommended. 15.3% alcohol, 1,900 cases; blended with 6% Alicante Bouschet and 4% Petite Sirah (PS), released September 2005. (Group Score: 16.4 of 20 points, 4 of 13 first-place votes/2 seconds/2 thirds; My Score: 17 [91 of 100 points], first place)

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2003 ZINFANDEL PAGANI RANCH


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2006/1/1


Zinfandel


RIDGE Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley 2003 **SCORE: 90 6% Alicante Bouchet; 4% Petite Sirah. It has never been known for its restraint or delicate nature, and Ridge's Pagani Ranch Zin is again out in front of the pack when it comes to sheer volume and unbridled ripeness. While many wines of its type are simply undone by their coarseness and heat, it offers layers and layers of ripe berries, cocoa and sweet, caramelized oak spice as just compensation for being so big and so ripe. We would turn its heat down a bit if we could, but we still find plenty of cause for enthusiastic endorsement.

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2001 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2003/9/1


Zinfandel


Score 93 ~ 2 Stars ** RIDGE Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley 2001 88% Alicante Bouchet; 4% Petite Sirah. Ridge's Pagani bottlings have been a bit uneven in success, but this latest effort hits the mark smartly as a big, plush, moderately complex wine whose undisguised ripeness is married to a nice bit of juicy fruit. Made more interesting by a sprinkling of peppery spice and glimmers of both chocolate and vanilla, it is at once both unctuous in feel and quite well-balanced. Despite its claim of 15.4% alcohol, it shows surprisingly little heat, and closes with a lengthy aftertaste of optimally ripened berries. $27.00

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2001 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2003/10/31


California Zinfandels – A Very Good Vintage


2001 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch -- SCORE: 91 Paul Draper continues to perform brilliantly with his diverse group of Zinfandels and Zinfandel-based blends. His recent portfolio did not reveal a single disappointing offering. ...Another powerful effort (15% alcohol) is the 2001 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch (88% Zinfandel and 12% Alicante Bouchet). It reveals surprisingly good acidity for a wine of this size, as well as deep, chewy, Amarone-like raisiny, raspberry and cherry flavors intermixed with hints of prunes and earth. A touch of asphalt also makes an appearance in this full-bodied, chunky 2001. Drink it over the next 5-6 years.

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2001 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 2004/2/1


New Releases From California


2001 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch California ($28; includes 8% alicante bouschet and 4% petite sirah): Full ruby-red. Somewhat porty aromas of roasted red berries, spicecake, pepper and woodsmoke. Mellow, superripe flavors of baked red fruits and pepper. Superripe and lush but bright, with strong, integrated acidity. Very southern in character, yet with very good vinosity. Rather powerful zinfandel, lifted by notes of clove and pepper. Most of these vines are more than 100 years of age. SCORE: 89

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2001 PAGANI RANCH


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2003/11/1


Zinfandel - New Releases


2001 Ridge, "Pagani Ranch," Sonoma Valley ($28) Medium-dark ruby color; attractive, intense, briary, jammy, raspberry and boysenberry fruit aroma with notes of dill and vanilla; full body; big, intense, jammy, briary, peppery, sweet black raspberry fruit flavors with overtones of creamy oak; medium-full tannin; well balanced; lingering aftertaste. Shows good length and depth with a very ripe, slightly raisiny character. Very highly recommended. 15.4% alcohol; 3,750 cases; blended with 8% Alicante Rouschet and 4% Petite Sirah (PS), released September 2003. (Group Score: 16.4 of 20 points, 4 of 14 first-place votes/5 seconds/1 third; My Score: 17 [90 of 100 points], first place)

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2000 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2002/10/1



2000 Ridge, "Pagani Ranch," Sonoma County ($27.50) Medium-dark ruby; attractive, rich, plummy, cedary, spicy, very ripe berry fruit aroma with notes of vanilla; full body; big, rich, highly extracted, jammy, very ripe boysenberry fruit flavors with good depth and concentration; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. 15.0% alcohol; 1,650 cases; blended with 9% Alicante Bouschet and 3% PS%; released September 2002. (Group Score: 15.9, 1/0/1; My Score: 16.5 [89/100], fourth place)

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2000 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2002/12/1


American New Releases


2000 California Pagani Ranch Zinfandel --- Score 90 Ö $27.50 Pagani's centenarian vines grow in northern Sonoma valley, the vineyard mostly zinfandel, with alicante bouschet (9 percent) and petite sirah (3) as well. In 2000, they grew a broad and generous red, even if the wine's substantial acidity kicks the fruit aside to show the lean, sophisticated structure underneath. It trails off with an impression of burnt chocolate, peppermint, piecrust, interactions of fruit, tannin and oak that should only gain complexity with age. Score 90 Ö $27.50

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1999 PAGANI ZINFANDEL


Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2001/11/1



1999 Ridge, Pagani Ranch, Sonoma County ($27.50) Medium-dark purplish ruby; somewhat funky, intense, jammy, briary, very ripe blackberry fruit aroma; full body; big, intense, focused, jammy, black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors; lingering aftertaste. Recommended. 14.1 % alcohol 2,057 cases blended with 7% Alicante Bouschet and 3% PS; released September 2001. (Group Score: 15.3, 0/0/0; My Score: 16 [83/100], twelfth place) True Ranking: [1, 2, 3, 4] [5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] [11, 12]

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1998 PAGANI RANCH


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2000/6/26


California's 1998 Zinfandels


A more Amarone-like late harvest character can be found in the 1998 Pagani Ranch (a blend of 88% Zinfandel, 9% Alicante, and 3% Petite Sirah). A dense ruby color is followed by scents of melted road tar, animal fur, sweet, jammy plums, and smoky cherries. Medium to full-bodied, not terribly complex, but round and chewy, this wine should be consumed over the next 4-5 years.

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1998 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2000/8/1


Zinfandel


Medium-dark ruby; attractive, deep, intense, cedary, jammy, ripe blackberry fruit aroma; full body; big, intense, lush, concentrated, high-extract, slightly tart, cranberry and blackberry fruit flavors with a hint of residual sugar; full tannin; rough, earthy finish; lingering aftertaste. Needs some bottle aging to round out. Highly recommended. 14.2% alcohol; 3,044 cases; blended with 9% Alicante Bouschet and 3% PS; released September 2000.

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1997 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Claude Kolm, Fine Wine Review - 1999/9/1


Red Wines/California


I found even more complexity in the Pagani Ranch Zinfandel with fig and allspice in the nose and fig and plums on the palate.

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1997 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 1999/11/1


The Best New Releases from California


1997 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch California (includes 7% mourvedre, 3% petite sirah and 2% alicante bouschet): Red-ruby. Port-like aromas of chocolate and black cherry; shows a distinctly raisiny suggestion of sur maturite. Big, rich, sweet and muscular; really fills the mouth with super-ripe flavor. Finishes with substantial chewy, tongue-dusting tannins.

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1997 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 1999/6/21


California's 1997 Zinfandels


The opaque purple-colored 1997 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch (88% Zinfandel, 7% Mataro, 3% Petite Sirah, and 2% Alicante Bouchet that achieved 14.6% alcohol) exhibits what the French call sur maturite (over-ripeness). A monolithic wine with huge, muscular, concentrated flavors, it had not yet begun to reveal much delineation or evolution, despite the fact it is already in bottle. There are layers of concentrated fruit, plenty of blackberry, plum, jammy notes, and enough acidity and tannin to buttress this enormously endowed wine. It will be even better with another six months of bottle age, and will last for 7-8 years.

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1997 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 1998/12/23


Ridge Vineyards


I immensely enjoyed the 1997 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch, which offers copious quantities of glycerin, fat, and raspberry fruit intermixed with cherries, pepper, and smoky oak. This outstanding, ripe wine should provide delicious drinking during its first 5-6 years of life.

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1997 PAGANI RANCH ZINFANDEL


Nick Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 1999/8/1


1997 Zinfandel


Medium-dark ruby; attractive, intense, cedary, toasty, chocolatey, peppery, briary, very ripe red berry fruit, clove, and dill aroma with good depth; full body; big, rich, jammy, cedary, high-extract, ripe blackberry fruit flavors with overtones of toasty American oak; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. 14.6% alcohol, 3,800 cases; blended with 7% Mataro, 3% PS and 2% Alicante Bouschet.

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