2012 Sonoma Valley "Pagani Ranch" Zinfandel
4% Mixed Black Varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mission, and others)
Although the 112-year-old vines at Pagani Ranch were slow to ripen their fruit, like the fabled tortoise, they achieved victory in the end. Picked on October 20th (our last Zin of the year), the fruit was perfectly balanced. No adjustments to the must were necessary. Early on, we could see that this would be a particularly concentrated and structured wine (wine yields were barely 116 gallons per ton). As a result, we increased the new French oak to 30% to broaden the palate. (Despite the increase in new oak, it is not detectable on the nose or palate. We do not like flavors and aromas of wood.) Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
A glass-staining, Syrah-like dark ruby-neon purple. Nearly opaque. A heavenly nose of blackberry, licorice, and Middle Eastern spices. Very different from our other Zinfandels but no less compelling. On the palate, medium-full to full bodied with viscous flavors of blackberry liqueur punctuated by refreshing tannins and acidity. Yowzers! Drink this from mid-2015 through 2022. (MRO – 07/18/14)