2021 Ponzo Zinfandel

2021 Ponzo Zinfandel

Wine Information

95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah

95 Points + Editors’ ChoiceWine Enthusiast
95 PointsZinfandel Chronicles
95 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous
93 PointsWine Spectator






Russian River Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Notes of raspberry, rose petal and Russian River minerality. Soft and supple tannin structure with notes of cherry, graphite and ripe pomegranate with ample acidity and an elegant finish. SR (10/22)

Vintage Notes

The cooler climate of the Russian River Valley appellation allowed this fruit to ripen slowly and develop both elegance and structure. All three blocks were harvested in late September and fermented separately. The old vine block and the front young vines were selected in blind tasting, giving us a wine of firm acidity and focused fruit. It will be at its best over the next six to seven years. SR (10/22)


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.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 14 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: A dry winter and spring stressed the vines, limiting yields and concentrating flavors.


Harvest Date: 12 September
Grapes: Average Brix 26.2˚
TA: 8.55 g/L
pH: 3.43
Fermentation: Grapes de-stemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (9% new, 9% one year old, 10% two years old, and 72% five+ years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested, Bob Ponzo vineyard grapes; de-stemmed 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, 56 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 Enthusiast: 95 Points + Editors’ Choice “Vivid raspberry, wild strawberry and spearmint aromas are followed by a bracing, lively palate of raspberries, blackberries, basil and chocolate in this indulgent, mouthcoating wine. Light tannins add to the good balance. This complex and singular wine will be best through 2033.” -Jim Gordon (November 2023)

Zinfandel Chronicles: 95 Points “Magenta in color. Sublime nose of red fruits, peach and anise. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Lush, well balanced and bursting with bright, juicy fruits. Cherries, raspberry liqueur and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. My kind of Zinfandel. This embodies everything I love about Russian River Valley Zins. Best over the next 3-4 years.” -Tom Lee (September 2023)

OwenBargreen.com: 95 Points “The brilliant 2021 Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel has 5% Petite Sirah blended in. A vineyard with some serious longevity, Bob Ponzo has been farming this Russian River Valley site for 40 years. Menthol, worn leather and red licorice aromas combine with suggestions of blood orange zest. The palate is fresh and refined with a soft mouthfeel and beautiful sense of concentration. Bright guava and Bing cherry flavors parade with copious minerals and loamy soil undertones. Complex and delicious to consume in its heady youth, enjoy this beautiful wine over the next fifteen years to come. Drink 2023-2038.” -Owen Bargreen (October 2023)

Vinous: 94 Points “The 2021 Zinfandel Ponzo screams out of the glass with varietal character. Ripe red cherry fruit, kirsch, menthol, spice, rose petal and star anise all grace this exotic, medium to full-bodied Zinfandel. The purity of the flavors is compelling. Silky tannins and lifted florals frame the finish.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2023)

Wine Spectator: 93 Points “Refined yet briary, with multilayered cherry and tart blueberry flavors, which are highlighted by green peppercorn and anise notes as this builds tension toward savory tannins. Drink now through 2032.” -T.F. (January 2024)

Wine & Spirits: 90 Points “Wildflower-honey scents show off this wine’s sweet flavors—the red juice of a plum brightened by the tartness of cranberry-like acidity. A lively, floral red, this lasts on violets and grape-skin tannins.” -J.G. (March 2024)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90

No. of Tasting Notes: 15

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Food Pairings

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