Dark black, licorice, just a hint of smoke. Sweet plum on the palate. Medium minus tannin, medium plus acid, substantial for Zinfandel. With substantial air, 4 hours, blue fruit notes emerged. Graham cracker presence the whole time.
If I could, I would give this wine a 93. But it just doesn't seem to have the complexity to award that. I love the fact that Ridge makes Zinfandel in a fashion that is not too "fruit forward" and jammy. This does allow the full bouquet to really show, but this Zin is very soft which is probably why it didn't really score big with a lot of folks. A hint of purple fruits on the nose and on the front of the palate, with an earthy black fruit starting to emerge at the start and continuing to the finish. Herbaceous. Delicate. Fruit shows more as it finished. The wine is still rather tannic even for an 09 Zin. It did seem to get jammier as it opened, but still was in a more delicate style and was never over the top (like lots of zins are incorrectly rewarded for being IMO). This wine has structure, probably has 4-5 more years left in it with proper cellaring but I don't think it'll really improve much in the bottle from this point. The 81 given by a previous rater shows an obvious ignorance to the style of Ridge's Zins, and honestly the fruit did show up after about an hour. Was it as much dark fruit as you get with the Monte Bello? NO...but it's not EXPECTED. This wine paired very well with sushi, as the more simplistic, delicate side of Zin is very present here, but the wine does lack depth and complexity, for which an 88 is appropriate. Done in 2019.
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