2005 Ponzo Zinfandel

2005 Ponzo Zinfandel

Wine Information

97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah






Russian River Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Aromas of pepper, blackberry, blueberry, coffee beans. Supple, jammy blackberry fruit turns to sweet cherry; elegant tannins, long finish.

Vintage Notes

ALl the fruit in this, our fourth Ponzo Zinfandel, comes from Bob Ponzo’s vineyard just south of Healdsburg. As in 2004, favorable spring weather brought a full set, and with it the need for rigorous thinning at veraison. Grapes ripen slowly in the cool Russian River Valley – a full two weeks behind Dry Creek Valley just to the north; picking began on October 3 on the Old Vine block of interplanted zinfandel and petite sirah. Younger vines on the Back Block were given an extra week to ripen further and moderate their firm acidity. During natural-yeast fermentations we pumped over twice daily, and pressed at seven days. After a natural malolactic, Triangle and Back blocks were combined with the more-tannic Old Vines. The wine was bottled after twelve months in air-dried american oak. The 2005 Ponzo is a beautifully balanced, sensuous wine. Enjoyable now, it will continue to develop over the next five to six years. JO/PD (12/06)


Cousins Phil and Bob Ponzo farm these grapes for us in the Russian River Valley. In 1991, when we purchased Lytton Springs Winery, we began using fruit from Phil’s vineyard; since then, those grapes have been the backbone of our multi-vineyard Sonoma Zinfandels. Bob’s vineyard, on identical soils a quarter-mile away, was first included in 1999 and with this vintage provides all of the grapes for the Ponzo zinfandel. The Russian River Valley’s cool microclimate ripens Ponzo shortly after Lytton Springs and Geyserville. Small amounts of carignane and petite sirah are interplanted with zinfandel in the oldest blocks.

Growing Season

Rainfall: Sixty inches (above normal)
Bloom: May (sooner than normal)
Weather: Cool, wet spring; warm dry summer with no intense heat at harvest.


Harvest Dates: 3 – 10 October
Grapes: Average brix 26.0
Fermentation: No inoculation – natural primary and secondary; rapid color and tannin extraction. Pressed at seven days
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (22% new, 15% one year old, 63% three to seven years old)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel


Los Angeles Times (27 June 2007): “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.”

California Grapevine (Vol. 33, No. 2, April-May 2007): “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 of the palate then the ripe fruit aromas would indicate. Highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 15.7 of 20 points, 0/1/0; My Score: 16.5 [88/100])

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 88.5

No. of Tasting Notes: 66

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Food Pairings

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