2008 Ridge Vineyards "Pagani Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1061641 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2008 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is a blend 85% Zinfandel, 10% Alicante Bouschet, and the rest Petite Sirah that tips the scales at a lofty 15% alcohol. Possessing ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit intermixed with some wood spice, earth, and subtle herbs, this wine cuts a broad, rich, full-bodied swath across the palate. More exuberant and richer than the more elegant Lytton Springs, this is full-throttle Zinfandel at its best, but beautifully pure, textured, and long. (RP)  (2/2011)

92 points Wine Spectator

 This is big, and loaded with jammy blackberry fruit, but there's a sense of elegance and focus in its full-bodied flavors. Layered notes of licorice, caramel, toast and sage lead to a finish of firm but ripe tannins.  (6/2011)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Inky ruby. Exotically perfumed, oak-spiced of cherry compote, blackberry, cola and vanilla bean, with smoke and black cardamom notes adding complexity. Sappy, broad and densely packed dark fruit flavors show very good intensity and pick up a spicy character with air. Really clings on the finish, which leaves notes of cherry, licorice and candied violet behind.  (5/2011)

K&L Notes

92 points Wine Spectator Insider: "This is big, and loaded with jammy blackberry fruit, but there's a sense of elegance and focus in its full-bodied flavors. Layered notes of licorice, caramel, toast and sage lead to a finish of firm but ripe tannins." Since 1991, Ridge has made zinfandel from the old Pagani vineyard on the east-facing side of Sonoma Valley. Almost all the vines here were planted more than a hundred years ago. The vineyard's long survival is proof of its merit. An average site would have been abandoned during the thirteen years of Prohibition, or during the Depression. This 2008 Pagani shows a beguiling cherry preserve nose, highlighted by red plum, dried cranberry, an appealing mix of exotic fruit and spice on entry, bright flavors enhanced by firm acidity. Structured, balanced. Very long finish.

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Price: $37.99
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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Zinfandel

- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.3