Ridge 2012 Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel

2012 Ponzo Vineyard

Varietal Information
92% Zinfandel
8% Petite Sirah

15.2% Alcohol by Volume

Click below to watch winemaker John Olney describe this wine

History

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 of the fruit for this zinfandel. The Russian River Valley's cooler microclimate ripens this fruit shortly after Lytton Springs and Geyserville. Small amounts of petite sirah are interplanted with zinfandel in the oldest block.

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 7 October and 18 October
Grapes: Average brix 26.1 degrees
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap and pressed at nine 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

Growing Season

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

Winemaking

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 for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 112 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

Aromas of blackberry, mango and sweet toasted oak. Concentrated black cherry fruit on entry followed by soft round tannins and floral notes; long, lively finish.

Tasting Notes and Reviews


2008 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2010/4/1


ZINFANDEL New Releases


2008 Ridge, "Ponzo Vineyard," Russian River Valley ($28) - Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, intense, herbal, stemmy, briary, peppery, very ripe raspberry and boysenberry fruit aroma; full body; big, intense, highly extracted, briary, peppery, dark berry fruit flavors with good depth and a bit of tartness on the finish; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. 15.1% alcohol; 2,208 cases; blended with 2% Petite Sirah (PS); released April 2010. (Group Score: 16.2, 1/2/3; My Score: 17 [90/100], second place)

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2008 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2010/10/1


AMERICAN NEW RELEASES


RATED: 90 2008 Russian River Valley Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel (Best Buy) Bob Ponzo's vineyard at the northern edge of the Russian River Valley includes a block of zin and petite from 1952, the core of this wine. The vines are cooled by the fog incursion that drifts upriver, though not as much as the pinot noir vineyards deeper into the valley and closer to the sea, Fat black cherry and tart strawberry flavors balance this wine's equally huge tannins, leaving a tail of red spice in the end. Leave it in a decanter for several hours while you marinate a butterflied leg of lamb.

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2007 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2009/6/1


ZINFANDEL - More New Releases


2007 Ridge, "Ponzo Vineyard," Russian River Valley ($28) - Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, very briary, jammy, blackberry fruit aroma with notes of dill and pomegranate; full body; forward, rich, textured, briary, peppery, dark cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with good depth; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. 15.5% alcohol; 2,100 cases; blended with 5% PS; released April 2009. (Group Score: 16.0, 0/2/3; My Score: 17 [91/100], third place)

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2007 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2009/5/1


Zinfandel


RIDGE VINEYARDS Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards Russian River Valley 2007 SCORE: 83 5% Petite Sirah. Sadly, this bottling is colored by a faint edge of sourness and is at war with itself right from the start, and, while its acidity rises too quickly, its commendable fruit refuses to let go. There is no questioning the wine's fruity depth, but its real potential is clouded in doubt, and its cellaring demands a blind leap of faith.

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2006 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


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


Zinfandel


RIDGE VINEYARDS Ponzo Vineyard Russian River Valley 2006 SCORE: 89 * 5% Petite Sirah. If not at all lacking in richness nor in the keen, blackberry fruit that marks top Zinfandels, this mannerly wine also counts balance among its chief virtues. Slightly fleshy and supple in feel with a bit of acidity brightening its finish, it shows plenty to like at the moment but is built in a way that suggests even more to come with age.

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2006 PONZO VINEYARD


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2008/8/1


ZINFANDEL - More New Releases


2006 Ridge, "Ponzo Vineyard," Russian River Valley – Medium to medium-dark ruby; forward, toasty, earthy, slightly herbaceous, cherry and red berry fruit aroma with overtones of charred oak; full body; herbal, cedary, plummy, dark berry fruit flavors; medium-full tannin; slightly harsh on finish; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. 14.4% alcohol; 1,100 cases; blended with 5% PS; released April 2008. (Group Score: 15.8, 0/0/0; My Score: 16.5 [87/100], tenth place)

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2005 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2007/9/1


Zinfandel


2005 RIDGE Ponzo Vineyard Russian River Valley SCORE: 87 * Here is a soft, slightly plush, very approachable Zin whose mix of milk chocolate, ripe berries and gentle tannins puts it on the track to success. A bit different than expected given the bright and livelier wines we have seen from this cool-region vineyard over the last several years, it is a wine best enjoyed in its relative youth with simple barbequed fare.

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2005 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Patrick Comiskey, Los Angeles Times - 2007/6/27


Lining up some fine Ridge wines


2005 Ridge Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel. Perhaps the prettiest, most approachable of the Zins; from a Russian River Valley vineyard, this wine is sensuous, generous and soft, its black cherry flavors supported by a velvet cushion of generous oak and an irresistibly supple, fleshy texture.

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2005 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2007/4/1


Zinfandel - New Releases


2005 Ridge, "Ponzo Vineyard," Russian River Valley ($26) – Medium to medium-dark ruby; herbal, jammy, loganberry and blackberry fruit aroma with a hint of pomegranate; full body; rich, concentrated, herbal, blackberry fruit flavors; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. A bit drier on the palate than the ripe fruit aromas would indicate. Highly recommended. 14.9% alcohol; 3,000 cases; blended with 3% PS; released April 2007. (Group Score: 15.7, 0/1/0; My Score: 16.5 [88/100], seventh place)

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2005 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


James Laube, Wine Spectator - 2007/6/30


New Releases: California


Ridge Zinfandel Russian River Valley Ponzo Vineyard 2005 $26 Something slightly wild peeps out from this otherwise restrained, well-focused Zinfandel. Aromas of plum, licorice and pepper open to concentrated flavors of boysenberry, blueberry and smoky vanilla. Drink now through 2010. 3,000 cases made. Rated: 87

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2004 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Dan Berger, Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences - 2006/10/5


Tasting Notes


2004 Ridge Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, Ponzo ($26): Rating: Exceptional Spice, black raspberry / violet and a cool-climate crispness in the finish make for a superb wine with roast chicken.

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2004 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2006/5/1


Zinfandel


RIDGE VINEYARDS Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards Russian River Valley 2004 SCORE: 92 ** This particular marriage of vineyard and vintner has earned big marks in the past, and it again displays the deep, well-defined varietal fruit and careful balance that have been its hallmarks. It matches lots of sweet berries to lovely, creamy oak spice, and, while it has the heft and mass of a fully ripened wine, it lacks the heat and dryness that such ripeness can bring. It is so juicy in nature that it can easily be enjoyed now, but it has room to grow for a many years yet.

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2004 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2006/2/1


Zinfandel - New Releases


2004 Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards: "Medium to medium-dark ruby with purplish tinges; attractive, forward, spicy, jammy, sweet black raspberry fruit aroma; medium-full to full body; herbal, briary, ripe raspberry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Developed with airing in the glass. Highly recommended." (Group Score: 15.7 of 20 points, 0/0/0; My Score: 16.5 [88 of 100 points], eighth place)

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2004 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2006/6/30


Zinfandel


This venerable producer, with as fine a track record as any winery in the world, continues to turn out high quality Zinfandels... RIDGE 2004 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD --- SCORE: 91 Another outstanding wine, the potent 2004 Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard (96% Zinfandel and 4% Petite Sirah and Carignane) exhibits a dark ruby/purple color along with notes of sweet vanillin (from new oak barrels), black raspberries, blueberries, and currants. Velvety-textured, broad, rich, full-bodied, and seductive, it should drink well for 5-6 years.

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2004 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 2006/9/1


New Releases from California's Central Coast


2004 Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards Russian River Valley ($26; includes bits of petite sirah and carignane): Bright ruby-red. Red cherry, red berries, licorice and minerals on the nose. Broad, lush and fairly dry, with suggestions of rhubarb and licorice. Not as intensely fruity or complex as the Lytton Springs or Paso Robles offerings. SCORE: 88

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2004 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Harold Baer, Colorado Wine News - 2006/4/1


ZAP


The 2004 Zinfandel, Ponzo Vineyards, Russian River Valley, $33, contains 3% petite sirah and 1% carignane and spent eleven months in American oak, 15% new. It has ripe, fresh, lovely nose of cherry, sweet cranberry, strawberry, blueberry, and soft, smoky oak. All repeat as flavors with the addition of pepper amd laced with bright acidity and fine tannin before a medium-broad, medium-long finish. Well balanced, structured, and integrated. Good.

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2003 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2005/4/1


Zinfandel - New Releases


2003 Ridge, "Ponzo Vineyards," Russian River Valley ($26) Medium-dark purplish ruby; forward, toasty, briary, ripe black cherry and raspberry fruit aroma with overtones of vanilla and a hints of black pepper and juniper; full body; big, intense, concentrated, red berry fruit flavors; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. 13.5% alcohol; 2,500 cases; blended with 14% PS and 1% Carignane; released April 2005. (Group Score: 15.6, 0/0/2; My Score: 16.5 [88/100], eighth place)

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2003 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


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


Zinfandel


RIDGE Ponzo Vineyards Russian River Valley 2003 14% Petite Sirah & Carignane. Quite clearly cut from different cloth than the rest of its relations from Ridge, this wine is leaner and firmer in build with bright berries overlain by a mild bit of spice. It is a wine that very much wants drinking with food, and its absence of heat and its essentially slightly snappy style make it a good match for veal piccata. SCORE: 87

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2002 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2005/2/28


Ridge Vineyards


Ridge has been a reference point winery for so many years you would think they are hundreds of years old. The fact is, their history began in 1886, when an Italian doctor purchased over 180 acres on the top of Monte Bello Ridge. Prohibition put an end to that period of history, but in 1959, some of the original vineyard was purchased by the founders of the modem day Ridge winery. Their first commercial vintage was 1962, and the current winemaker, Paul Draper, arrived in 1968. The 2002 marks 40 vintages of the Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, making it, by California terms, an ancient cuvée. With respect to Ridge’s Zinfandel program, Paul Draper, who deserves much of the credit for making Zinfandel famous, continues to turn out a bevy of delicious Zinfandels in addition to numerous multi-varietal blends. 2002 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARDS -- RUSSIAN RIVER From the Russian River, the deep ruby/purple-tinged 2002 Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards (96% Zinfandel, 2% Carignan, and 2% Petite Sirah) offers up scents of loamy earth, pepper, sweet kirsch, plums, raspberries, and cherries. With vibrant acidity as well as copious quantities of heady fruit, it should be enjoyed over the next 5-6 years. ($25.00) Score: 89

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2002 ZINFANDEL PONZO VINEYARD


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 2004/8/1


New Wines from the Central Coast


2002 Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards California ($25): Dark red. Chocolate, menthol and flowers on the nose. Began quite tightly wound but blossomed in the glass to show sappy, rich, slightly medicinal flavors of redcurrant and spice. Finishes with sweet, lush tannins and very good length. SCORE: 89.

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