Ridge, Pagani Ranch Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 2021

€56.69 €62.99

This is a rare wine from Ridge - it's from vines that they don't own themselves, rather from fruit that is grown by the Pagani family at their ranch in Sonoma. Ridge have made a wine from the Pagani Ranch since 1991, because, though it is someone else's grapes, the quality is just superb! 

The wine is densely packed, brooding and dark, with a nose of jammy blueberry, cherries and cracked black pepper. This is balanced by supporting acidity on the palate and a beautiful structure that give this wine a rich and full mouthfeel with notes of crushed strawberry, raspberry, minerality and dark chocolate with a lip-smacking, full and lingering finish.

If you love really great Bordeaux, this is for you!

The fascinating and compelling thing about the Pagani's vines is that almost all of them are turn-of -the-century, having been planted between 1890 and 1914. This is incredible vineyard strength that has come about because of the quality of the site and the care that the Pagani family have shown in each of the four generations who have tended it. The soils are heavy gravel, clay and loam which force the roots deep into the ground to find nutrients, which, in turn, gives a low yield of tight bunches of smaller, more concentrated berries. 

The climate here is slightly cooler that in Geyserville or Lytton Springs because of the foggy San Francisco summers and the east-facing slopes of the vineyards. This means that the grapes set a little later and ripen for longer, creating a wider range of more complex flavours and a fuller and more complete texture in the wine. It's a stunning result.

The Ridge story itself is one that really inspires; three tech graduates working in Silicon Valley, bought the ranch in 1959 as a weekend retreat for their young families. On the land was also a winery and vineyards. They started making some wines, but wanted a winemaker, so hired Paul Draper. He himself had been in the US Forces in Europe at the end of the Second World War and had studied in France after his duty, learning about winemaking as part of the course. What has happened since is one of the great uncoverings of a region, a grape and a philosophy that has helped put the USA on the fine wine map. Coming fifth in the original Judgement of Paris, then first in the re-visited Judgement 30 years later with the icon wine Monte Bello, the justification for Ridge's winemaking and vine selection decisions are clear and consistent: old vines, low intervention, organic vineyards and a commitment to honesty and quality. You can't argue with that.

Pagani Ranch 2021 is going to be one for the ages, but at its best over the next eight years:

96 PointsZinfandel Chronicles
95 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous
95 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
94 Points + Cellar SelectionWine Enthusiast
94 PointsWine & Spirits
93 PointsWine Spectator

Jancis Robinson 17/20 “Sweet, spicy nose. Much fresher than most Zins. A sort of Zin guaranteed to beguile claret lovers. Still quite youthful.” (tasted in March 2024)

Region: Santa Cruz Mountains

Country: USA

Grape(s): Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet

Style: Powerful, Medium Full, Iconic, Elegant, Complex, Broad

Best food matches: Wild Boar, Warm Salads, Venison, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie

Alcohol: 14.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

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Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.