A mouthful of wine, this Zin is a moderate (by today’s standards) 14.8% alcohol, but has loads of black fruit, cocoa, and coffee. The nose is slightly vegetal, suggesting perhaps some whole cluster fermentation. Blackberries on attack are followed by raspberries on the mid-palate and finish. Black pepper runs under everything from attack to finish. On the mid-palate, first mocha, then dark chocolate, come through. The long finish tastes of dark chocolate and dusty tannins. Drink with well smoked pork ribs. Recommended.

WHO: Ridge Vineyards
WHAT: Zinfandel 98%, Petite Sirah 2%
WHERE: Russian River Valley, California
WHEN: 2009
HOW MUCH: $28 (Media sample)

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David Honig