Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel 2006
from Sonoma County, California
A blend of 88% Zinfandel, 7% Alicante Bouschet, 3% Petite Syrah and 2% Carignane.
These old vines are planted at the base of the hills on the western edge of Sonoma Valley. The region is cool for zinfandel, so we prune late to avoid risk of frost damage. Cool weather delayed harvest to late October. Nine parcels were hand-picked in one day, and crushed to small tanks for natural fermentation. A submerged cap was used with most of the grapes. The alicante and a small amount of zinfandel co-fermented with a floating cap to better stabilize alicante's intense color. After a natural malolactic, the wines were racked to american oak barrels. Although no lots were held out, production is the lowest in years. This superb zinfandel displays the complex earth and spice typical of the vineyard. Delightful now, it will continue to develop over the next five to seven years.
"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 creme 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."
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