2009 Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo

Year: 2009
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 88
Connoisseurs' Guide: 88
California Grapevine: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 91
Red Wine
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"Rustic but zesty, with tart blueberry, cherry and herb aromas and briary flavors that show dill, jalapeño and pepper notes. Drink now through 2016. 3,000 cases made." (WS)

"Teaming high-toned hints of cranberries with the more usual blackberry fruit of classic Zinfandel, this well-balanced wine is supple to start and increasingly firm as it crosses the palate. If arguably a touch tart and given to acidy stiffness at the finish, it is very much the unevolved youngster, and, given a couple of years of cellaring in which to grow into itself, it should emerge as a temperate, food-worthy Zin. Reviewed: September 2011" (CG)

"3. 2009 Ridge, “Ponzo,” Russian River Valley ($28) – Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, forward, ripe, briary, raspberry and boysenberry fruit aroma with cedary notes and a hint of white pepper; full body; rich, briary, toasty, red berry fruit flavors with firm acidity and a bit tight and drying on the finish; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. 14.8% alcohol; 3,180 cases; blended with 2% PS; released April 2011. (Group Score: 16.3, 1/3/1; My Score: 17 [91/100], second place)" (CGV)

Winery Notes:
Late rains delayed the growing season at Bob Ponzo's vineyard in the Russian River Valley, but summer leaf-pulling maximized sunlight on the clusters, and expedited ripening. Harvest began on October 2, and finished six days later, just ahead of this fall's torrential storm. The grapes macerated for eight days during native-yeast fermentation, yielding a wine rich in color and fruit, with firm natural acidity. After uninoculated malolactic fermentation, the wine aged for thirteen months in air-dried american oak barrels. Enjoyable now, this sumptuous zinfandel will be at its best over the next five years. JO (9/10)

Tasting Notes - Medium garnet. Scented red fruits, tart plum, white pepper, dried herbs, crushed stone. Elegant entry; sweet red currant, strawberry, lightly toasted oak. Medium body, finely woven tannins, refreshing acidity. Approachable. -Eric Baugher (2/11)