75% Alicante Bouschet, 25% Zinfandel
A long, temperate spring allowed most vineyards to set their fullest crops of the decade. At Pagani Ranch in the cool Sonoma Valley, the old zinfandel was up by twenty percent, but the eighty-year-old alicante vines were caught by a spring frost that reduced quantities by a dramatic fifty percent. All the grapes were in by October 3, two weeks earlier than any recent vintage. In fermentation, we used the “floating cap” technique, varying the number of pump-overs to moderate the high tannin typical of this varietal. Twenty-eight percent of the wine was aged in new, air-dried american oak; the rest was in similar four and five-year-old barrels. We included a significant amount of zinfandel from the ranch for its more complex fruit, and to stabilize the alicante’s intense color. This full, rustic, sensuous wine will be at its best over the next five years. PD (1/99)
Since 1962, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare vineyards where climate, soil, and varietal produce distinctive character. With minimal intervention, we guide that process—always attempting to produce exceptional wines.
Average Rating: 90.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 11
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