97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah
93 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
92 Points – Wine & Spirits
92 Points – Tom Lee, Zinfandel Chronicles
Russian River Valley
Enticing ripe bramble and clove spice on the nose with notes of pineapple guava. Medium body with refreshing acidity and dusty tannins. Elegant and balanced with juicy raspberry and a clean finish. MB (7/22)
The Ponzo vineyard is one of our few zinfandels sourced from the Russian River Valley. The cool microclimate retains firm acidity favoring fruit expression and elegance over structure and tannin. The 2020 is no exception and will be at its best over the next six to seven years.
Bob Ponzo has farmed these vines in the Russian River Valley for over 40 years. The vineyard, planted on deep gravelly loam soils, is four and a half miles south of Lytton Springs. Here, the Russian River Valley’s cooler microclimate ripens the grapes later than at Lytton Springs and Geyserville. Small amounts of petite sirah are interplanted with zinfandel in the oldest block.
Rainfall: 21 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Rains in March and April helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Date: 12 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9˚
TA: 7.36 g/L
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (15% new, 10% one year old, 20% two years old, and 55% six years old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
Hand-harvested, Bob Ponzo vineyard grapes; 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, 92 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.
OwenBargreen.com: 93 Points “The 2020 ‘Ponzo Vineyard’ Zinfandel comes from this Sonoma County site. Red cherry cordial and tobacco leaf combine with strawberry Starburst candy on the nose. The palate is soft and refined with bright acidity and citrus zest accents. Very sexy and refined, drink this elegant Zinfandel over the next decade.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2022)
Wine & Spirits: 92 Points “A bluesy Russian River zinfandel, its power boosted by a little petite sirah in the blend, this wine’s ripe blue fruit and red-berry flavors are cushioned by peppery tannins. It’s ripe and fresh, a red to pour with braised meats.” -J.G. (November 2022)
Zinfandel Chronicles: 92 Points “One of just a few Ridge Zins from the Russian River Valley. Charming nose of red fruits, peach and licorice. Medium body with medium acidity. Plush and approachable. Cherry, strawberry, earth and a hint of pepper on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Delicious now but this will also show well for another 3-5 years.” -Tom Lee (August 2022)
Wine Enthusiast: 91 Points “This wine could be in the dessert category, based on its sweet-seeming aromas and rich, late-harvest flavors. A full but soft texture melds with cooked strawberries and black plums.” -Jim Gordon (January 2023)
Vinous Media: 90 Points “The 2020 Zinfandel Ponzo is bright, floral and effusive. Crushed red berry fruit, rose petal, mint, cinnamon and white pepper are all nicely lifted. Medium in body and suave, with fine balance, the 2020 is another tasty wine in this range. The 2020 is not super complex, but it is quite attractive.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2022)
Average Rating: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 17
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