Tasting Note                         

91+    2016   Ridge  Pagani Ranch Zinfandel (Sonoma Valley)    12/1/18  ($36)

88% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet   14.8% alc
Color: Deep purple garnet. (3.0) Bouquet: Prominent cedar and mocha infused black fruit (blackberries, cassis and black plum) with briary spice propelled by acidity. (3.5) Body: Light heavyweight with excellent fruit, acidity and tannins. Coats the mouth, but slightly astringent. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet with old vines fruit being somewhat overshadowed by cedar. (3.0) Finish: Long and tasty with lots of mocha and some bitterness from oak. (3.0)
Overall: The black fruit is ripe with significant cedar and mocha oak overtones, as was also present in the 2015, but is even more prominent here. It's an excellent single vineyard Zin, but I know this wine all too well and find the cedary oak to be a distraction from the profound, pretty, complex old vines fruit that I've come to expect. I don't think I've ever tasted a Ridge Pagani with this much oak treatment and must say I find it somewhat off-putting and inconsistent with my past experiences, based on the 24 vintages I've tasted (which is every vintage expect for the first one (1991) and 2010). This wine could be so much more than it is, even at this early stage, if more restraint was used in regards to the oak. Hope this vintage is just an anomaly. Overall it's excellent and should improve with 3-5 years bottle age. (15.5)

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