Tasting Note                         

91    1997 Ridge Paso Robles Zin Late Picked    7/19/08 ($22)

Color: Medium black raspberry with some age-appropriate onion skin and clearing. (3.0) Bouquet: Candied cherries and black raspberries with intensity. Also some gamy and smoky nuances. (3.5) Body: Light heavyweight with very ripe, concentrated fruit and excellent acidity. A little sharp acidity creeping in. (3.0) Flavor: PArallels bouquet step-for-step, delicious. (3.5) Finish: Some excess acid and bitterness appear here, showing its age, but still multilayered and interesting. (2.5)
Overall: What was once a great wine has become an excellent older wine. Note that Paso Robles and other warmer climate Zins do tend to age on the fast track. It still shows its multilayered, complex, concentrated fruit, just slightly marred by an acidic edge and a little bitterness in the finish. Nonetheless, it's still a joy to drink. (15.5)