90% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah, 5% Alicante Bouschet
96 Points – Zinfandel Chronicles
95 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous
95 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
94 Points + Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast
Nose of jammy blueberry, red cherry and pepper. Lively acidity and structure give this wine a full mouthfeel with notes of raspberry, mineral and dark chocolate with a lingering finish. SR (11/22)
Given the cool micro-climate of Sonoma Valley, Pagani Ranch often sits under fog into the early afternoon. Harvested between October 7th and 16th, the young zinfandel was ready first, followed by the old-vine zinfandel, petite sirah and alicante bouschet. Typical of the appellation, bright acidity and plentiful fruit are benchmarks of this exuberant wine. This excellent zinfandel will be best over the next eight years. SR (12/22)
Since 1991, Ridge has made zinfandel from the Pagani vineyard on the western side of Sonoma Valley. The majority of the vineyard was planted ninety to one hundred twenty years ago; portions of it were replanted between 2013—2018. The vineyard is meticulously tended by a quality-conscious family who has worked the land for four generations. An average site would have been abandoned during the thirteen years of Prohibition, or during the Depression. Its long survival is proof of its merit.
Rainfall: 14 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: A dry winter and spring stressed the vines, limiting yields and concentrating flavors.
Harvest Dates: 7 – 16 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9˚
TA: 6.27 g/L
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; pumped over a floating cap.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (3% new, 10% one year old, 20% two years old, 50% three years old, and 17% neutral oak).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
Pagani Ranch grapes; hand-harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 66.5 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.
Zinfandel Chronicles: 96 Points “Bright crimson in color. Brilliant nose of red fruits, baking spices and pepper. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Lush upfront fruits on a wine with notable power and concentration. Cherry, raspberry compote, strawberry and white pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Another in a long line of breathtaking Zins from the iconic Pagani Ranch. Best over the next 5-7 years.” -Tom Lee (September 2023)
Vinous: 95 Points “The 2021 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is a wine of tremendous stature. Vertical and composed in bearing, the 2021 has a ton to offer, but is also a bit reserved today. Time in the glass brings out a mesmerizing range of red/purplish fruit, spice, cedar, new leather, tobacco, mocha and dried flowers. Pagani Ranch remains a beacon for Sonoma County Zinfandel-based field blends. This is a fine rendition.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2023)
OwenBargreen.com: 95 Points “Nearly all Zinfandel (90%), this has 5% both Alicante Bouchet and Petite Sirah blended in. The nose is absolutely rocking right now. Heady red fruit aromas combine with shades of black olives and a dusting of white pepper on the nose. The palate is bright and very concentrated, loaded with red cherry and tobacco leaf flavors, alongside wet gravel and citrus zest, making this exceedingly complex and delicious. This is even better than the 2020 version. Showing fantastic structure and weight, this beauty will easily go from another fifteen years. If enjoying in its youth, this needs about an hour in the decanter to be fully aroused. Drink 2023-2038.” -Owen Bargreen (October 2023)
Wine Enthusiast: 94 Points + Cellar Selection “Vivid, focused raspberries and red currants light up the aroma of this well-balanced, elegant wine before cooked strawberries and red plums fill the palate. Light toasty, oaky accents of vanilla and chocolate lend a bit of extra interest. Best through 2033.” -Jim Gordon (November 2023)
Average Rating: 92
No. of Tasting Notes: 8
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