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2006 Ridge Vineyards "Pagani Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1041558 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 In this outing, the Pagani Ranch wine is a touch richer in oak than the family recipe predicts, yet beneath its seductive veneer of vanilla and crème caramel lies lots of deep, delicious, precisely defined Zinfandel fruit. Broad and balanced on the palate and firmed by just the right bit of tannin, it ends with an exceptionally long, very rich, berry-like finish and promises to develop nicely over the next three to six years.  (1/2009)

Wine Spectator

 Massive and ripe, but lacks finesse, showing dark huckleberry and tar aromas and concentrated wild berry, pepper and loamy earth flavors that finish with chewy tannins. Best from 2010 through 2015.

K&L Notes

Ridge has been making Zinfandel from the old Pagani Ranch vineyard since 1991. Planted at the western edge of Sonoma Valley, the site is unusually cool for Zinfandel, which means careful attention in the vineyards and a wine that is complex, earthy, spicy and graced with beautiful acidity. Drink now and over the next 5-7 years. With Alicante Bouschet and Petite Sirah.

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Price: $39.99
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- 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.

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.


- 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.
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 (%): 14.8