Tasting Note                         

93+   2003  Ridge  Essence  Stone Ranch Zinfandel (Alexander Valley)   1/29/15 ($30 - 375mL)

100% Zinfandel (Late Harvest), 10.0% residual sugar  14.1% alc
Color: Deep garnet, no browning or clearing. (3.0) Bouquet: Complex briar and black licorice with dark Zinberry fruit. Very expressive with elegance. (3.5) Body: Light heavyweight with excellent fruit, acidity and smooth tannins. Viscous mouthfeel without being heavy. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet with delicious, precise Zinberry. (3.5) Finish: Long, sweet Zinberry and briar go on and on. (3.5)
Overall: This was youthfully awkward when first released with some heat and the sweet fruit was a bit icky. Boy, has this come together beautifully! It demonstrates the wisdom of Paul Draper's winemaking decisions, which are rarely in error, even when hard to understand for the taster. From my experience I'd say that Ridge wines reward patience more than any other CA winery with which I'm familar. This wine is still quite sweet, but has gained spicy complexity, balance and even some elegance. An impressive late harvest Zin that is ready to drink. Should hold for a few more years. (16.5)

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