Tasting Note                         

93    1997 Ridge Pagani Ranch Zin                2/18/06 ($25)

88% Zin, 7% Mataro, 3% PS, 2% Alicante Bouchet 14.6% alc
Color: Beautiful medium deep garnet, which you can now see through, but no onion skin. Looks ready, but far from old. (3.5) Bouquet: High acidity Zinberry fruit with game. Very ripe with bracing acidity (in a good way) like a Nebbiolo. Very old vines nuances. (3.0) Body: Excellent fruit-to-acid balance with some tannin left. A light heavyweight, but could have a denser mouthfeel. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, but longer, richer and more interesting, old vines complexity comes on here. (3.5)
Overall: A solid excellent that gets better as you go down the bottle. As fine as it is, being a fully mature Sonoma Valley Zin of very high quality, it is not quite the ’97 Geyserville or the ’97 Paso Robles (by far the finest PR Zin I’ve ever drunk). I had been hoping that when this came out of its numb phase that it would be the best Ridge Zin of the vintage. Now that it has reached that point, it shows some of the complexity of the Geyserville, but needs more of the fruit of the Paso Robles. Still a gorgeous old vines Zin. (16.0)