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Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards Zinfandel Wine 2011

Winemaker's Notes:

90 points Fine Wine Review: The Ponzo Zinfandel is classic Ridge style with hints of American oak that support Zinfandel dark berry and plum fruit. The wine is medium-weight and still has some tannins, although the winemaker's notes suggest consuming the wine over the next 3-5 years, but I think it will be even better in a year or two (or if you decant for a few hours), so it may well last longer than that estimate, too. A good versatile wine that can stand up to many rustic and powerful dishes. 14.1% alcohol. (Issue #140; 2013)

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Ridge Vineyards:
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name... Read more
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge's production facility. At 2600', it is surrounded by the "upper vineyard." In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the "middle vineyard"— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California's finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and '61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and zinfandel account for most of the production; syrah, grenache, carignane, and petite sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962. Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine. Read less

Editorial Reviews for Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards Zinfandel Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065219,702
3.50 5
11/02/2013

A bit stinky in the nose, earthy and very dark with crushed berry fruit accented by light pepper and ink notes. Crisp entry and then quite tense in the mouth with a bit of wood tannin sticking out early on the palate. The fruit here, a little spicy and red, is quite clear if tight and rather soil driven supported by bright acids and small if slightly hard tannins that extend out on the long, mineral driven finish,. This seems to still be a bit disjointed and though it shows promise is missing a little something. 88pts


Member Reviews for Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards Zinfandel Wine

Add your review
Snooth User: Wencis Jude Acosta
13357248,294
4.40 5
11/01/2013

Four and a half glasses


External Reviews for Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyards Zinfandel Wine

External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
03/21/2014

Nicely ripened but not defined by its ripeness and comfortably fruited without being aggressively "fruity" this year's Ponzo fits the Ridge model of refinement and winemaking polish. Its deep flavors of dark berries graphite and vanilla are right in step with its complex comparatively sophisticated aromas and if perhaps showing a bit of vintage-induced reluctance it is exceptionally well-balanced stuff that will have an easy time fitting in with a very wide range of foods. Connoisseurs Guide.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
06/20/2014

Nicely ripened but not defined by its ripeness and comfortably fruited without being aggressively



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90 points Fine Wine Review: The Ponzo Zinfandel is classic Ridge style with hints of American oak that support Zinfandel dark berry and plum fruit. The wine is medium-weight and still has some tannins, although the winemaker's notes suggest consuming the wine over the next 3-5 years, but I think it will be even better in a year or two (or if you decant for a few hours), so it may well last longer than that estimate, too. A good versatile wine that can stand up to many rustic and powerful dishes. 14.1% alcohol. (Issue #140; 2013)

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