Saturated red/purple. Appealing mixed black and red fruits, compote, exotic barrel spice. Ripe black cherry and plum fruits on entry, opulent and full-bodied, lively acid, and a sensuously long finish. EB (7/17)
A cool start to the growing season kept the vines from fl owering during spring storms, resulting in a full crop. Following a warm summer, the grapes ripened for a late September harvest. Rich color and tannins extracted during fermentation. After sixteen months in barrel, this sensuous wine shows great appeal. It will be most enjoyable over the next ten to twelve years.
Since 1991, Ridge has made zinfandel from the old Pagani vineyard on the east-facing side of Sonoma Valley. All the vines were planted ninety to one hundred twenty years ago. Pagani Ranch is a fi ne 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: 33 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Mid-May, with veraison by mid-July
Weather: Very wet December, followed by the driest January on record (0.05”). Cool, wet late spring helped with rainfall totals. Harvest started late September and finished quickly.
Harvest Dates: 20 – 25 September
Grapes: Average Brix 26.0˚
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; pumped over a fl oating cap and pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (24 new, 52% one and two years old and 24% three to four years old).
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel
Pagani Ranch grapes; hand-harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.26 grams/liter calcium carbonate added during fermentation to moderate excessive natural acidity; 4.3% water; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 116 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (August 2017): 94 Points. “A dense, powerful wine, the 2015 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch exudes concentration in all of its dimensions. Red cherry jam, pomegranate, mint, rose petal and spice meld together in a plush, voluptuous Zinfandel loaded with personality. There is so much to like. The Pagani is the ripest and most overt of the three Zinfandel-based 2015s I tasted. A generous dollop of Alicante contributes to the wine’s feel.” – Antonio Galloni
JebDunnuck.com (June 2018): 94 Points. “The 2015 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is 83% Zinfandel 10% Alicante Bouschet, and the balance Petite Sirah, all from the Sonoma Valley. This ripe, sexy, flamboyant beauty gives up a huge nose of sweet plums, melted licorice, violets, and dried herbs. It medium to full-bodied, has juicy acidity, and is a bigger, richer styled wine compared to the slightly more elegant 2014. This beautiful, pure, powerful Zinfandel is ideal for drinking over the coming decade.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Wine Spectator (November 8, 2017) – 93 Points Deep and potently structured, with distinctive spice box and licorice aromas and densely layered flavors of blackberry, cracked pepper and smoky herbes de Provence that finish with big but ripe tannins. Best from 2019 through 2025.—T.F.
California Grapevine (October 2017): “Medium-dark ruby; attractive, deep, ripe, spicy, jammy, blueberry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of black pepper and bacon fat; full body; big, forward, rich, ripe, mouth-filling, dark berry fruit flavors; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended, though marked down by some tasters for hints of volatile acidity and a slight prunish character. “ (Group Score: 16.2, 2/1/1; My Score: 17 [92/100], first place)
Average Rating: 90.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 135
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