Tasting Note                          

87+   2004 Ridge Ponzo Vineyard (RRV)   10/29/06 ($25)
96% Zin, 3% PS, 1% Carignane 14.9% alc

Color: Medium purple-ruby. Doesn’t show the depth of color of Sonoma, Alexander or Dry Creek Valley Zins, but this is the Russian River. (3.0) Bouquet: Animal fur reminiscent of a southern Rhone with raspberry fruit and a smooth texture. Also some spiciness due to a combo of black pepper (smooth tannins), alcohol and oak. A little grapey at present. (2.5) Body: Smooth tannins, good acidity and tasty, but not particularly concentrated fruit combine to give this a silky mouthfeel, even if slightly lacking in intensity. (3.0) Flavor: Spice, fruit and oak make this very pleasing, but lacking distinction. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, but lighter, almost to the point of fading into wateriness. (2.0)
Overall: This is a smooth, restrained, even delicate Russian River Valley Zin. I think it will gain some weight and improve with 2-4 years of bottle age, but it could really use more concentration and distinction. I know I’m hard on these entry level Ridge Zins, but they are not the values that I have come to expect from Ridge Zin, based on their slightly more expensive brethren. (13.5)