Tasting Note                         

97   2003  Ridge  Essence Zinfandel (Stone Ranch - Alexander Valley)   12/27/16  ($30)

100% Zinfandel    14.1% alc
Color: Deep garnet, looks ready, but no browning or clearing yet. (3.5) Bouquet: Succulent prune and date liqueur are very flamboyant with lively minerality. (3.5) Body: Light heavyweight with a wonderfully viscous and tangy mouthfeel. Outstanding fruit and acidity. (4.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet. (3.5) Finish: Parallels bouquet, but even more lively with exciting tang that lingers. (3.5)
Overall: Ripe, old vines fruit out the ying-yang here, being somewhat over-ripe in one sense with its prune and date liqueur nuances, yet shows impressive balance, mineral/acidity and even elegance. Talk about a wine that transformed with age, this was icky ripe with heat in its youth. But great wine is often paradoxical and ironic. A wonderfully viscous and tangy mouthfeel may be its best attribute, but is followed closely by a very long, lively and tangy finish. Dessert wine doesn't get much more exciting (at least for this Zin-loving taster). (18)

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