Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The August Zinfandel of the Month is the 2018 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Pagani Ranch.
Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. Paul Draper recently retired and John Olney is making the wines at Lytton Springs while Eric Baugher makes the wines at Monte Bello. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and a variety of Rhone style wines.
When I first became interested in Zinfandel the buzz was always around the Three R’s of Zinfandel: Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. 25 years later Ridge is still at the top of its game, turning out single vineyard Zinfandel from some of California’s most precious vineyards.
I chose this wine as Zinfandel of the Month because the 2017 version was absolutely breathtaking the 2018 vintage is one of the best Zinfandel vintages in recent memory.
Pagani Ranch is just off Highway 12 in the Glen Ellen area of Sonoma County. Angela and Felice Pagani came to Sonoma County from Italy, purchased the property and planted the vineyard in the early 1900’s. In addition to Ridge the fruit goes to Carlisle, Seghesio, Biale and Bedrock.
Bright crimson in color. 14.9% ABV. 84% Zinfandel, 9% Alicante Bouschet and 7% Petite Sirah. Gorgeous nose of red fruits, peach and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Bright and juicy. Boysenberry, raspberry liqueur, earth and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Every bit as good as the the stunning 2017 Pagani. Best over the next 4-6 years.
My rating: 96 points.
Review based on sample provided by the winery.
The release date for this wine is September 1st and the wine will price at $40 per bottle. Rest assured several bottles will find a way into my cellar.
I wrote about Ridge previously in New Releases from Ridge Vineyards.