96% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Mataro
Color: Deep garnet. Nose: Jammy boysenberry fruit, plum, rhubarb, and blackberries, exotic spice, molasses, and wet crushed rock minerality. Palate: Concentrated blackberry fruit, thick and jammy stewed plums, firm acid, integrated tannins, classic old vine zinberry and spice, complex, chalky structure in finish. A wonderfully balanced and complete wine.
Ridge made its first Pagani Zinfandel in 1991. The ranch-planted between 1896 and 1922 – lies in the cool Sonoma Valley, where ripening is slow. In 2005, a cold, wet spring delayed the start of the growing season, as well as harvest, by two weeks. Fortunately, unusually warm weather in early October ripened the fruit, and we picked on November 1. Each parcel fermented on its own yeasts in a separate small tank. Color and tannin developed rapidly; we pressed in six days to avoid over-extraction. The natural malolactic finished in record time, allowing us to combine the best lots and rack them to air-dried american oak barrels for aging. The 2005 Pagani is lush, sensual, and elegant. It will develop further over the next five or six years. EB/PD (2/07)
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: Sixty inches (above average)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: A cool, wet spring and warm, dry summer, with no intense heat at harvest.
Harvest Dates: 1 November
Grapes: Average brix 24.3
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (14% new, 10% one year, 28% two years and 48% three and four years old).
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
Connoisseurs’ Guide (January 2008): “There have been a number of noteworthy Zinfandel bottlings from this outstanding Sonoma site, but, other than those from the hand of Paul Draper, we can recall few that have shown the degree of depth and sheer fruity precision of this lively young wine. Its concentration and richness come without worrisome heat, and, while never less than fully ripe, it remains balanced and remarkably light on its feet. It has the feel of a wine that is destined for better with time, and, however delicious it is at the present time, it should continue to unfold and evolve for a good many years.” Rated: 93 (**)
Average Rating: 90.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 37
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