1997 Ridge "Sonoma Station" Sonoma County Zinfandel

SKU #330449 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The dark ruby/purple-colored 1997 Zinfandel Sonoma Station (75% Zinfandel, 13% Carignan, 8% Petite Sirah, and 4% Alicante Bouchet) exhibits a big, briery, peppery, spicy nose, dense, rich, cherry and blackberry flavors, a deep, lush texture, and fine purity and intensity.  (6/1999)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Red-ruby color. Exotic aromas of pepper, clove, orange peel and dark chocolate. Bright, tart red berry flavor leads to a firm, slightly dry finish.  (5/1999)

Wine Enthusiast

 An easy-drinking Zin that provides a good introduction to the Paul Draper style. There's a dollop of toasty oak that somehow resembles maple syrup, plenty of berry fruit, and just enough structure to prevent the whole package from being fat or heavy. Although it lacks the complexity or concentration of Ridge's single-vineyard bottlings, it's very good in its own right. (JC)  (9/1999)

Wine Spectator

 Lots of fresh, lively plum and blueberry flavors lead into a crisp, tightly wound core of spice, cedar, earth and wild berry, finishing with firm tannins. (JL)  (5/1999)

K&L Notes

The grapes for this wine are grown in three viticultural areas Dry Creek, Russian River, and Alexander Valleys. The varietal mix parallels traditional "field blends" found in old, especially Italian, plantings throughout Sonoma. Expect the raspberry and blackberry so typical of this region's old-vine Zinfandel, along with complexity imparted by the other varietals. Petite Sirah contributes spice and color; Carignane brings firm acid, bright fruit flavors, and a certain elegance.

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Price: $29.99
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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).