2013 Sonoma Valley "Pagani Ranch" Zinfandel
10% Mixed Blacks (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Petite Sirah, Carignane, Criolla Chica, and others)
Visiting Pagani Ranch to check on the vines is always a treat. It’s like stepping back in time. The ranch has been owned by the Pagani family since the 1890s. Norma (Pagani) Amantite still lives in the old farmhouse amidst the vines, right next to the original family winery with its 3-foot-thick concrete walls. Dino Amantite, one of Norma’s sons, is now in charge of farming and is doing great things. He has replanted missing vines, plants cover crops in the winter, and has established new blocks in fields that have been fallow for over 50 years. Dino very much wants to ensure Pagani Ranch will still be going strong in another hundred years. Bravo!
Dark crimson-red, verging on opaque, no doubt from a generous dose of Alicante Bouschet. A fascinating, complex nose on first pour of blackberry, licorice allsorts, cured meats, and bouquet garni. But with swirling, each sniff seems to reveal something different. On the palate, blackberries and blueberries galore. Medium-full to full-bodied. Like most Sonoma Valley Zins, this wine relies upon its considerable (for Zinfandel at least) tannins for its framework. Age-worthy. Optimum drinking should be late 2016 through 2025. (MRO – 07/18/15)