2017 Sonoma Valley "Pagani Ranch" Zinfandel
2% Mixed Black Varieties (Petite Sirah, Carignane, Alicante Bouschet)
Picked October 6th, this year’s Pagani Zinfandel consists solely of fruit from our two 122-year-old blocks on the western side of the ranch. What happened to our Alicante block on the eastern side of the ranch? Alas, it was still hanging when the firestorm hit on October 9th. Given that the vineyard was blanketed in ash and smoke for well over a week, the risk of smoke taint was simply too great to pick the fruit. Fermented indigenously. Twenty days on the skins. All French oak, 21% new. Lightly fined with egg whites to polish the palate but unfiltered.
Medium ruby-garnet. Very pretty aromas of red cherries, pomegranate, and earth. A slight suggestion of blood orange as well. On the palate, without the Alicante component, more red-fruited and elegant than is typical of our “lumberjack in a tuxedo”. Texturally, quite silky but typical Sonoma Valley tannins do emerge in the finish. In fact, were it not for these tannins, I might be fooled into thinking this was from the Russian River Valley! Best from release through 2027.