2018 Boatman Zinfandel

2018 Boatman Zinfandel

Wine Information

98% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah

93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
93 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
91 PointsWine Spectator
91 PointsWine & Spirits




Boatman Ranch


Alexander Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Jammy raspberry nose with vanilla. Plum and black olive on the palate, round tannins and lingering finish. JO (12/20)

Vintage Notes

The crop at this hillside vineyard ripened slowly and evenly throughout August. Each of the eight parcels was picked at optimum maturity in mid-September. We included five of the eight to make a rich, intense Boatman Zinfandel. Twelve months aging in American oak adds spice and complements the wine’s abundant red fruit. Enjoyable now, this sumptuous zinfandel will evolve over a seven-to-eight year period.


Tim Boatman’s grandparents, Emilia and Eugene Moretti, emigrated from the mountain town of San Pellegrinetto, Italy in the early 1900s. In 1935, Emilia and Eugene were able to acquire this fifty acre ranch that sits in the hills on the border of Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley. Eugene used the property for wood cutting and when he passed away he left the property to Tim’s mother and uncle. Tim purchased the property from them in the mid-sixties, when he was only nineteen years old. In 1972, Tim Boatman planted fifteen acres of zinfandel on the steep hillsides that surround his house. The rocky, east-facing terraces are ideal for growing intense, concentrated fruit.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 25 inches (below normal)
Bloom: May
Weather: Winter rains were light this year, totaling 25 inches. Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.


Harvest Dates: 8 – 22 September
Grapes: Average Brix 26.1˚
TA: 6.30 g/L
pH: 3.95
Fermentation: Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; seven vineyard blocks fermented separately. Pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (10% new, 10% one year-old, 15% two years-old, 15% three years-old, 30% four years-old and 20% five years-old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel

Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 1 g/L tartaric acid added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 80 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.


JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “Coming from the Alexander Valley, the 2018 Zinfandel Boatman reveals a ruby/plum hue to go with lots of mulberry and red plum fruits supported by complex cigar, dried flowers, violet, and smoked herb-like aromas and flavors. Beautifully balanced, medium-bodied, and weightless, it’s another impeccably made Zinfandel from the team at Ridge to enjoy over the coming decade.” -Jeb Dunnuck (July 2021)

JamesSuckling.com: 93 Points “Lots of dried fruit with subtle fig-newton aromas that follow through to a full, dense and layered body with rich fruit and spice. Juicy and peppery with cloves and some cedar. Firm, dusty tannins. 98% zinfandel and 2% petite syrah. Give it a year or two.” -James Suckling (March 2021)

Blue Lifestyle: 93 Points “Deep ruby color, lush berry nose, juicy, earth and blackberry with notes of spice and vanilla, long and balanced.” -Anthony Dias Blue (May 2021)

Wine Spectator: 91 Points “Tightly focused and appealingly rustic. Black cherry, toasty dill and licorice flavors build tension toward medium-grained tannins. Best from 2022 through 2030.” -T.F. (June 2021 Issue)

Wine & Spirits: 91 Points “The east-facing hillside vines at Tim Boatman’s vineyard gave fruit with broad richness in 2018. The wine feels earthy and dynamic, combining purple-plum skin flavors with notes of woodland mushrooms, roots and sassafras. The red baking spices in the tannins lend smokiness to the finish. For slow-smoked pork shoulder.” -J.G. (June 2021 Issue)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90.4

No. of Tasting Notes: 40

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Food Pairings

See all food pairing recipes we have created specifically for this wine.

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