84% Zinfandel, 7% Petite Sirah, 7% Alicante Bouschet, 2% Mataro
94 Points – Jeff Cox, Decanter
94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
94 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
94 Points – Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate
93 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
Focused jammy blueberry fruit and pepper on the nose. On the palate, fresh cherry, mineral, firm acidity, balanced structure and long lingering finish. JO (7/19)
Heavy winter rains and a warm spring created ideal growing conditions. To even ripening, we dropped a third of the crop in the young vines. Always the last zinfandel vineyard we harvest, 2017 was no exception. We picked the young vines October 3rd and the old vines four days later. Incredible concentration from the old vines and the bright acidity typical of this vineyard makes this wine enjoyable over the next ten years.
Since 1991, Ridge has made zinfandel from the Pagani vineyard on the western side of Sonoma Valley. The majority of the vineyard was planted ninety to one hundred and twenty years ago; portions of it were replanted between 2013—2018. The vineyard is meticulously tended by a quality-conscious family who has worked the land for four generations. An average site would have been abandoned during the thirteen years of Prohibition, or during the Depression. Its long survival is proof of its merit.
Rainfall: Over 60 inches (above normal)
Weather: A wet December and January helped ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Cool weather in April reduced the crop a bit. Harvest started and finished in early September.
Harvest Dates: 3 – 7 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5˚
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; pumped over a floating cap and pressed at fourteen days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 25% one and two years old, and 65% three, four, and five years old.)
Aging: Eleven 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; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 149 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.
Decanter: 94 Points “Winemaker John Olney says that the long hang-time of the grapes shifts the red-fruit notes towards sweet cherries and boysenberries, without any cloying overripeness. Pagani has earthiness, too. This is Zinfandel with Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet and Mataro.” – Jeff Cox (March 2020)
Vinous Media: 94 Points “The 2017 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is fabulous. A dark, exotic beauty, the Pagani possesses off the charts flavor intensity and depth, with striking perfume, voluptuous fruit and magnificent balance. Inky red/purplish berries, lavender and spice are all amped up in this racy, extroverted Zinfandel from one of the most historic sites in Sonoma Valley.” – Antonio Galloni (October 2019)
Zinfandel Chronicles: 96 Points. “Brilliant nose of jammy red fruits, peach and baking spices. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Brimming with bright, high toned fruits. Cherries, raspberry liqueur, earth and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. The best young Zinfandel I have had from Pagani Ranch and from Ridge for that matter. Just a stunner. Best over the next 4-6 years.” – Tom Lee (September 2019)
The Wine Advocate: 94 Points “The medium ruby colored 2017 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch offers lovely layers of tricolored berry preserves and stone fruit cobbler with baker’s chocolate, dusty earth, garrigue, iron, fried herbs, charcuterie and an exotic spice undercurrent. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with floral-tinged fruits framed firmly with grainy tannins and lifted by juicy freshness, finishing very long and layered.” – Erin Brooks (February 2020)
JebDunnuck.com: 94 Points “A blend of 84% Zinfandel with the balance Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet, and Mataró, the 2017 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch reveals a translucent ruby/purple color as well as a beautifully complex bouquet of sandalwood, spice box, new leather, charred earth, and mulled plums and blueberries. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and textured, with sweet tannins, this beautiful Zinfandel knocks it out of the park in this difficult vintage.” – Jeb Dunnuck (November 2019)
JamesSuckling.com: 93 Points “This mid-weight blend of 84% zinfandel, 7% petite sirah, 7% alicante bouschet and 2% mataro has a brambly, dark-berry nose with some purple flowers in the mix. The sleek palate has such freshness and the tannins are striking for their polish and finesse. Drink or hold.” – James Suckling (December 2019)
California Grapevine: 91 Points. “Medium-dark purplish ruby color; attractive, deep, intense, ripe, spicy, briary, boysenberry and blackberry fruit aroma with hints of dill, black pepper, and bacon fat; full body; deep, ripe, spicy, dark berry fruit flavors with a full, rich mouthfeel; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Enjoyable to drink now or over the next year or two. Very highly recommended.”- Nick Ponomareff (October 2019)
Average Rating: 91.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 21
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