88% Zinfandel, 8% Alicante Bouschet, 4% Petite Sirah
Exotic melange of plum/cherry/ boysenberry in the nose, with undertones of mineral/damp gravel, cedar, citrus, mint. Fruit flavors repeat in the mouth; notes of clove, pepper, toasted oak. Good acid/tannin balance, lingering finish.
Sonoma Valley is among the coolest zinfandel growing regions in California. As the saying goes, “The great years in a cool area are the warm years,” and 2001 was just that. To achieve full flavor and some moderation in acidity, we waited until October to pick. Virtually all the vines here are one hundred years old or older; their age and varietal mix consistently provide intense fruit, peppery spice, and a certain rustic earthiness. This is classic Pagani – perhaps the finest of our eleven Pagani vintages. To allow fruit to dominate, we used one- and two-year-old barrels for aging. The wine is big and defined by firm acid and integrated tannins. Delicious now, it will be at its best over the next five to seven years. PD (3/03)
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.
Rainfall: Most in mid-winter, little in spring, water stress by August. (less than normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Warm spring, summer, fall.
Harvest Dates: 4 October – 10 October
Grapes: Average brix 26.3°, average pH at crush 3.34.
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Juice circulated for gentle color and tannin extraction.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels
Time in Barrel: Seventeen months
Quarterly Review of Wines (Jun 2004): Best of Show (the 2001 Zinfandel York Creek took second place).
International Wine Cellar (Jan/Feb 2004): Full, ruby-red. Somewhat porty aromas of roasted red berries, spicecake, pepper and woodsmoke. Mellow, super ripe flavors of baked red fruits and pepper. Super ripe 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. Rated: 89
Wine Advocate (Oct 2003): Another powerful effort (15% alcohol), is the 2001 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch (88% Zinfandel, 12% Alicante Bouschet). It reveals surprisingly good acidity for a wine of this size. 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. Rated: 91
Average Rating: 88.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 51
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