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Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel 2016

Zinfandel from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WW92
750ML / 15.1% ABV
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  • WW91
  • WS91
  • WS91
  • WS91
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3.9 11 Ratings
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3.9 11 Ratings
750ML / 15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep garnet color. Black cherry fruit aromas and scented barrel spice. Rich bramble fruit on entry, medium body, integrated tannins, and lively acidity, a long, opulent finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Zinfandel Paso Robles is lovely, wafting from the glass with aromas of ripe blackberries, plum preserves and rich spices. On the palate, it's full-bodied, lavish and velvety, with an ample core of ripe, sun-kissed fruit, lovely purity and a sweet, lingering finish. As ever, this is one of the very finest Zinfandels produced in the region, and its naked, effortless style should be a beacon for other producers to follow. It derives from the Benito Dusi Ranch, which is visible from Route 101 as you drive through Paso Robles. Ridge produced their first vintage from this site in 1967.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Appealingly old-school, with briary black cherry and smoky pepper beef flavors and a whiff of coconut that build zestiness on the long finish. Drink now through 2024.
WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: Over the decades, the Ridge Paso Robles has found a sweet spot on my palate. While the wine has always been powerful, its balance and early drinkability have been its positive attributes. TASTING NOTES: This wine is big and generous on the palate and textural delectable in the finish. Its generous aromas and lavish flavors of ripe black fruits should pair nicely with a nicely grilled ribeye. (Tasted: February 27, 2019, San Francisco, CA)
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Ridge
Ridge, California
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Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.

Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s, it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.

The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.

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Paso Robles

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Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.

This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

SOU903089_2016 Item# 393843