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Posts tagged ‘Ridge’

Pick My Next Bottle – 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel

The October installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Old Vine Zinfandel from the the 2012 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened on Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

2012 was an exceptional vintage for Zinfandel throughout California. The wineries featured have meticulous Winemakers who work hard in the vineyard and I am confident in saying the wines from Carlisle, Ridge and Turley will rarely disappoint. These particular vineyards all date back to the early 1900’s.

The Contenders

  • 2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Dupratt Vineyard – The knock-out 2012 Zinfandel DuPratt Vineyard from the Mendocino Ridge AVA comes from an old vine vineyard planted at a 1,600 foot elevation. Officer told me this is an extremely cold site, and the acids can remain high despite a late harvest. This wine is beautifully balanced with 15.4% alcohol as well as lots of blueberry and black raspberry fruit, medium to full body, a layered mouthfeel and, again, the hallmarks of Officer’s winemaking – purity, texture and enormous hedonistic appeal. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 Ridge Lytton Springs – The 2012 Lytton Springs is quite reserved, compact and inward at this stage. There is good density and depth in the glass, but the elements aren’t fully formed just yet. While most of Ridge’s 2012s are quite open today, that is not at all the case with the Lytton Springs. The 2012 is going to need time. In 2012, Lytton Springs is 70% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah, 7% Carignane and 4% Mataro (Mourvèdre). 93 points from Vinous.
  • 2012 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard – Bright, deep red. Pungent aromas of black raspberry, pepper and herbs, lifted by a mineral note from the limestone-rich soil. Wonderfully intense and energetic, with a light touch that belies its substantial alcohol. Captivating flavors of blackberry, herbs and lavender saturate the palate. Boasts a superb balance of sugar, acidity and tannins. This is spectacularly aromatic today but should really be held for a few years. 94 points from Stephen Tanzer.

Which 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open

  • 2012 Ridge Lytton Springs (39%, 16 Votes)
  • 2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Dupratt Vineyard (32%, 13 Votes)
  • 2012 Turley Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard (29%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 41

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the November Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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The Week in Zinfandel (9/12/16)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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Zinfandel of the Month – 2012 Ridge Zinfandel Pagani Ranch

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 September Zinfandel of the Month is the 2012 Ridge 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. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and 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.

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. The fruit goes to Ridge, Bedrock, Carlisle and St. Francis.

Crimson in color. 14.1% ABV. 90% Zinfandel, 9% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro. Brambly nose of black fruits, pepper and cocoa powder. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Juicy with a touch of minerality. Blackberry, raspberry liqueur and boysenberry on the palate. The finish is long and sweet. Absolutely delicious Zinfandel. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 93 points.

The 2014 Ridge Pagani was just released and is a bargain at about $32 per bottle.

I wrote about Pagani Ranch previously in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

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The Week in Zinfandel (5/16/16)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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The Week in Zinfandel (4/4/16)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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The Week in Zinfandel (3/21/16)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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The Week in Zinfandel (2/8/16)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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The Week in Zinfandel (7/27/15)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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Pick My Next Bottle – 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel

The October Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel from three of the very best Zinfandel producers in the state of California. As i mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this weekend and a Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

2009 was a strong vintage for Zinfandel in both the Sonoma Valley and Paso Robles. All three vineyards for the wines featured below date back to the early 1900’s. As I like to say…history in a wine glass.

The Contenders:

    • 2009 Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel – Composed of 89% Zinfandel and 11% mixed blacks, the dense purple-hued 2009 Zinfandel Montafi Ranch (a vineyard planted in 1926) is phenomenal. Dark, jammy black raspberry notes intermixed with sweet black cherries, blackberries, licorice, charcoal and underbrush are present in this complex, full-bodied, massive yet impressively well-balanced offering. It will drink exceptionally well for 7-8 years. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel – The 2009 Lytton Springs is the biggest and most structured of these 2009 Zinfandel-based reds, largely owing to the earthier soils and the presence 23% Petite Sirah. Black fruit, plums, tar, licorice and smoke are some of the notes that flow from this generous, inviting red. The Lytton Springs is fairly structured, and can definitely benefit from another year or two (perhaps more) in bottle. The blend is 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah and 5% Carignane. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2029. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2009 Turley Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel – The broad, structured, mineral-dominated, deep plum/purple-colored 2009 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard is made from head-trained old vines planted in pure limestone. It possesses copious notes of pepper, flowers, black cherries, black currants and a hint of chalk. With more structure and tannin than most of its siblings, it will benefit from 6-12 months of bottle age, and should keep for 5-6 years. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel should I open?

  • 2009 Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel (45%, 21 Votes)
  • 2009 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel (32%, 15 Votes)
  • 2009 Turley Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel (23%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the November installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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2008 Ridge Lytton Springs – Bottle Notes

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. Since 1969 Ridge’s winemaker, and now also its CEO, has been Paul Draper. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and 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.

Lytton Springs Vineyard dates back to the early 1900’s and is located in the Dry Creek Valley. The ’08 Lytton Springs in a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah and 5% Carignane.

Bright purple in color. 14.4% ABV. Black fruits, pepper and currants on the nose. Great structure and perfectly balanced. Medium body, claret styled Zinfandel blend. The palate shows blackberries, cherries, plums and spice. Soft tannins and surprisingly approachable. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2012 Lytton Springs is widely available at retail for right around $32. Yours truly, will be looking to purchase bottles soon.

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