Who says Zinfandel don’t age?
YOU says Zinfandel don’t age?
Well, I gots two Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch Zinfandels says yer a gol-dang liar!
Ok, I’m not a cowboy.
Meaning, Paula Cole, I can’t help ya …
Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie song
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone?
–Paula Cole, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone”
No, I’m no cowboy. But I DO taste library zinfandel for Monday morning breakfast!
And as to whether zinfandel can age, should be aged?
I offer you two offerings from the Ridge Vineyards vaults, a two-vintage vertical of our Pagani Ranch zinfandel: 1994 and 1997.
Paul Draper is somewhat legendarily notorious for his conservatism when it comes to developmental estimations on our labels; consider the above: reviewed in 1996, with a projection of eight to ten years.
Tasting it this morning, some seventeen years out, I can confidently say that Paul was wrong.
Is the wine mature? Yes. Is it dominated by secondary characteristics? Yes. Is it delicious? Yes! Lovely cedar and sandpaper aromatics, with hints of persimmon and dried fig, and speckles of cardomom and pipe tobacco. Super acidity on the palate, with streamlined tannins and some delightfully sweet fruit tones. Rootsy, herbal, and complexly high-toned, this will delight any drinker of high-caliber cellarable offerings.
As to the 1997 Ridge Vineyards Pagani Ranch …
Tasted in 1999, with a five-year estimate for when it will “show to best advantage?” Silly Paul …
Listen, truth be told, these wines were being evaluated for possible pouring at a key event coming up on the horizon, and to a taster, the general consensus was that the wine might in fact be too young still to pour!
Take that, Paula Cole. I found your prairie song …