2020 Boatman Zinfandel

2020 Boatman Zinfandel

Wine Information

97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah

94 PointsWine & Spirits
93 Points – Tom Lee, Zinfandel Chronicles
92 Points – Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast




Boatman Ranch


Alexander Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Nose of strawberry rhubarb, orange zest, star anise, garrigue and dark chocolate. Medium-bodied, nuances of blueberry, cigar box and vanilla with excellent mid-palate weight and structure. SR (11/22)

Vintage Notes

The growing season began early at Boatman Ranch. Warm weather throughout June and July hastened ripening for an early start to harvest on August 20th. Fortunately, temperatures then cooled off, allowing us to pick each of the seven vineyard blocks at perfect ripeness. Lower yields resulted in greater concentration and added structure to this appealing zinfandel. It will be enjoyable over the next eight years. JO (1/22)


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: 18 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Rains in March and April helped the vines get through the summer.


Harvest Dates: 20 August – 10 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.3˚
TA: 5.35 g/L
pH: 3.87
Fermentation: Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; seven vineyard blocks fermented separately.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (10% new, 15% one year old, 20% two years old, 25% three years old, and 30% four years old).
Aging: Fourteen 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; tartaric acid added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 71 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.


Wine & Spirits: 94 Points “This wine is from an early vintage, starting at the end of August, when Tim Boatman harvested his zinfandel well before the start of the Glass fire in late September. The vines he planted in the 1970s, on steep rocky hills between the Alexander and Dry Creek valleys, produced a complex, elegant wine with old-vine savor (if 50 years begins to count as old-vine zin). It’s robust and cool, with smoky prune-plum flavors, scents of green herb stems, coffee and chocolate, as if built for a spicy mole. Yes, there’s some smokiness to it, and it is a 2020, but the fruit is so alive and tangible, so firm and gracious that the smoke is just an accent. Completely delicious.” -J.G. (April 2023)

Zinfandel Chronicles: 93 Points “Bright crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. 97% Zinfandel and 3% Petite from Boatman Ranch situated on the border of Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. Sublime nose of red fruits, anise and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Structure and power in spades. Black cherry, raspberry, plums and bittersweet chocolate on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. One of those wines from Ridge that will age effortlessly. Best over the next 6-8 years.” -Tom Lee (March 2023)

Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points “Hints of char and black pepper in the aroma lead to robust black-fruit flavors and a good dash of tannin in this full-bodied wine. Blackberries, wood smoke and beef jus give it a meaty, powerful expression that seems perfect for grills and roasts.” -Jim Gordon (September 2023)

JebDunnuck.com: 90 Points “The 2020 Zinfandel Boatman is based on 97% Zinfandel and 3% Petite Sirah, all from the Alexander Valley. It has a complex bouquet of smoky red and black fruits, roasted herbs, scorched earth, and leather, with some classic Zinfandel cedar and spicy notes in the background. It’s nicely textured, medium-bodied, has ripe tannins, and a good finish. It’s going to benefit from just a year or two in the cellar and evolve nicely over the following decade.” -Jeb Dunnuck (October 2023)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90.9

No. of Tasting Notes: 27

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Food Pairings

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