2011 Ridge "Pagani Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(includes 18% alicante bouschet, 3% petite sirah and 1% mataro): Inky ruby. Pungent aromas of cherry, dark berries, dried rose and musky earth, with a hint of vanilla in the background. Smooth and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering bitter cherry and cassis flavors that are lifted by gentle acidity. Fine-grained tannins give shape to a focused finish with sustained cherry and floral notes.
The 2011 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is one of the most overt wines in this range of 2011 Zinfandels from Ridge. Whereas as Geyserville and Lytton Springs are wines of site, first and foremost, the Pagani Ranch really screams Zinfandel in its intense, super-ripe fruit. The 2011 is an excellent choice for drinking over the next handful of years. In 2011 the blend is 78% Zinfandel, 18% Alicante Bouschet, 3% Petite Sirah and 1% Mataro (Mourvedre)
A bruiser of a Zin, dense and full of stuffing, showing ripe plum, grilled herb and toasty vanilla aromas that lead to dried cherry, smoky anise and tar flavors. Drink now through 2021.
Intriguing elements of dried flowers, black tea, vanilla and smoke lend this fairly ripe field blend a distinct personality all its own, yet, while loosely hinting at dark berries and distantly of dried grapes, the wine is not profoundly fruity. That is not to say that it is in any way lacking in character or interest, and it is, in fact, a complex and inviting offering of fine weight and real suppleness that will please in the near to mid-term.
Pagani Ranch has been an important Zinfandel in the Ridge lineup since the first bottling in 1991. The Pagani property, on the east-facing side of Sonoma Valley, features low-yielding vines which are almost entirely over 100 years old. It has been tended by the same quality-conscious family for four generations. Winemaker Eric Baugher describes the profile of the 2011 vintage as such: "Deep garnet; boysenberry and rhubarb aromas, barrel spice, licorice and fresh mint; ripe plum fruit, juicy acid, sensuous tannins, long finish."