2011 Ponzo Zinfandel

2011 Ponzo Zinfandel

Wine Information

97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah






Russian River Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Vibrant ruby, floral nose with notes of black pepper, cherry and clove. On palate focused raspberry with mint and vanilla, moderate alcohol, elegant tannins and well balanced acidity.

Vintage Notes

Late spring rains reduced yields for a second year, and cool summer temperatures slowed ripening. Fortunately, heat in mid-September fully matured the fruit just before the first fall rains. We harvested Triangle and Old Vine blocks on September 24, and Back block on October 1. After natural primary and malolactic fermentations, the three were combined and racked to barrel for twelve months of aging. The 2011 Ponzo has the intense fruit typical of a Russian River vineyard, and the bright acidity characteristic of the vintage. This elegant zinfandel will be most enjoyable over the next three to five years. JO (9/12)


Bob Ponzo has farmed these grapes for us in the Russian River Valley since 1999. Bob’s vineyard, on deep gravely loam soils four and a half miles south of Lytton Springs provides all the fruit for this zinfandel. The Russian River Valley’s cooler microclimate ripens the grapes shortly after Lytton Springs and Geyserville. Small amounts of petite sirah are interplanted with zinfandel in the oldest block.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 40 inches (above normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Wet spring and atypically cool summer, with no sustained heat spells.


Harvest Dates: 24 September and 1 October

Grapes: Average Brix 24.5

Fermentation: No inoculation — natural primary and secondary; rapid color and tannin extraction. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two years old, 40% three and four years old).

Aging: Twelve months in barrel.

Ingredients: Hand harvested, sustainably grown grapes, indigenous yeasts, naturally occurring malolactic bacteria, minimum effective SO2.

Hand harvested Bob Ponzo vineyard grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 111 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.


California Grapevine (Vol. 39, November 2013): “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, intense, briary, dark cherry fruit aroma with notes of dill, mocha, and black pepper; medium-full to full body; spicy, toasty, red berry fruit flavors with firm acidity; medium-full tannin; slightly tart on the finish; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 16.0 of 20 points, 0/1/0; My Score: 17 (90/100), eighth place)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 88.5

No. of Tasting Notes: 45

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Food Pairings

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