78% Zinfandel, 18% Alicante Bouschet, 3% Petite Sirah, 1% Mataró (Mourvèdre)
Deep garnet; boysenberry and rhubarb aromas, barrel spice, licorice and fresh mint; ripe plum fruit, juicy acid, sensuous tannins, long finish.
A late winter and cool spring set back the growing season, pushing bloom well into June. The nineteenth-century zinfandel set a small crop that ripened by early October. A six-day fermentation with twice-daily pump-overs provided intense color and rich tannins. The tannic, red-fleshed alicante planted in the 1920s — was fermented with care, adding an intriguing hint of rusticity to the zinfandel. This complex wine, like past vintages, will age beautifully over the next seven to eight years. EB (12/12)
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: 40 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Wet spring and atypically cool summer, with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 3 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% one year, 55% two and three years old, 20% four years old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel.
Ingredients: Sustainably grown grapes; indigenous yeasts; naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; calcium carbonate; SO2.
Hand harvested Pagani Vineyard grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.63 grams/liter calcium carbonate added during fermentation to moderate excessive natural acidity; minimum effective sulfur added (30 ppm at crush, 67 ppm over the course of aging); aged in oak barrels; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (July 2013): “The 2011 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is one of the most overt wines in this range of 2011 Zinfandels from Ridge. Whereas as Geyserville and Lytton Springs are wines of site, first and foremost, the Pagani Ranch really screams Zinfandel in its intense, super-ripe fruit. The 2011 is an excellent choice for drinking over the next handful of years. In 2011 the blend is 78% Zinfandel, 18% Alicante Bouschet, 3% Petite Sirah and 1% Mataro (Mourvedre)” -Antonio Galloni (Rated: 90)
California Grapevine (Vol. 39, November 2013): “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, intense, briary, peppery, dark cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with notes of dill, cedar, and cracked pepper; medium-full to full body; deep, rich, textured, briary, jammy, red and black fruit flavors; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 16.1 of 20 points, 0/1/2; My Score: 17 (91/100), third place)
Average Rating: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 71
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