WTN: Ridge Zin Buchignani '09...(short/boring)

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WTN: Ridge Zin Buchignani '09...(short/boring)

Postby TomHill » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:56 pm

Tried this yesterday w/ John:
1. Ridge Zin BuchignaniRanch/DCV/SonomaCnty (9% Carignane; 13.5%; 46 brls; Bttld: 1/11; 75 yr old vines; Drk: 10/10-10/15-10/16: JO) 2009: Dark color; fairly strong blackberry/Zin/spicy bit peppery light vanilla/smokey/Am.oak rather dusty/OV slight DrPepper/RCCola slight herbal/chive quite attractive nose; lightly tart strong blackberry/Zin/raspberry/very spicy light vanilla/Am.oak/smokey bit peppery/DrPepper/chives balanced flavor w/ modest/smooth tannins; very long lightly tart strong blackberry/raspberry/Zin/very spicy light vanilla/oak/smokey slight chive/DrPepper/peppery balanced/polished finish w/ modest tannins; quite an attractive/drinkable Zin at a good price. $28.00 (ATP)
____________________________
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. I've long been less than thrilled by the Ridge ATP program and used to give DonnReisen a lot of static over it. Over the yrs (followed it from the very start), I've found that some/many of the Zins underperformed...that they were only a slight step above the basic Ridge 3Vllys. They never seemed of the level of the LyttonSprings/Geyserville/Pagani/Dusi. I'd rattle Donn's cage that these limited ATP Zins should..dang it...be something special. True, oftentimes/sometimes, these ATP Zins would be underwhelming on release, but they had this uncanny knack of improving in the btl and rising up and biting you in the a$$ down the road as to how good they'd become.
It's still a program that I struggle a bit with..particularly as to the timing of releases. Ridge is already into release of their '11 Zins...and this is an '09 that's just being released?? What's the wine been doing sitting in btl for over 2 yrs? It's a bit of a puzzle to me how they decide what ATP wine they're going to release each month..seems like no rhyme nor reason.
That said...there seems to be a quiet undertow of improvement in the Ridge ATP Zins. This is probably the best Buchagnani Zin that I've yet tried. Last months Carmichael Zin '10 was the best Carmichael I can recall. Somthin' going on at Ridge?? There seems to be a subtle shift in the style, across the board, of the Ridge Zins. There seems to be a more fruit-forward and greater intensity of fruit than those of yesteryear. There seems to be a bit toning down of the oak treatment and less of the classic "Draper Perfume" in the wines. And not just the ATP Zins...but the regular releases as well. But...then...it all could very well just be my imagination. After all..I've only been drinking Ridge Zins for some 40+ yrs now.
Tom
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Re: WTN: Ridge Zin Buchignani '09...(short/boring)

Postby Tom Troiano » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:37 pm

Tom,

I've read for many years your less than enthusiastic comments on Ridge ATP Zins and I tend to agree (although I stopped getting them 5-6 years ago as they don't ship to MA. and it just turned out to be a pain in the ass to have them shipped somewhere else then go get them).

That said, I always assumed that these wines were made from fruit from new/different locations that they wanted to experiment with before putting it into the nationally distributed wines or simply from fruit not deemed worthy. So, I've always expected these wines to be less exciting than Geyserville and Lytton (the two I have purchased every year since 1986). So, maybe you're expectations for ATP Zins are off or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I also don't think it makes much sense to drink any Ridge Zin without at least 7-10 years of bottle age but that's another argument for another day.
Tom T.
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Well...

Postby TomHill » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:06 pm

Tom Troiano wrote:Tom,

I've read for many years your less than enthusiastic comments on Ridge ATP Zins and I tend to agree (although I stopped getting them 5-6 years ago as they don't ship to MA. and it just turned out to be a pain in the ass to have them shipped somewhere else then go get them).

That said, I always assumed that these wines were made from fruit from new/different locations that they wanted to experiment with before putting it into the nationally distributed wines or simply from fruit not deemed worthy. So, I've always expected these wines to be less exciting than Geyserville and Lytton (the two I have purchased every year since 1986). So, maybe you're expectations for ATP Zins are off or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
I also don't think it makes much sense to drink any Ridge Zin without at least 7-10 years of bottle age but that's another argument for another day.


Tom,
Originally, the ATP Zins were very small lots that would be totally lost in National distribution and wines that were rather special.
Nowadays, most of the ATP Zins are around 48 brls worth..not a small amount I would say. These are not really "new/different" vnyds they are experimenting
with, but vnyds of old-vine stuff that they feel are worth making. There's not been much addition of new vnyds for some 10 yrs. But these are truly quality/old-vine vnyds they
are using. I oftentimes/sometimes find that they are only a small step above the 3Vllys. There is no reason (that I can see) that these ATP Zins should not be the
equivalent quality of their regular/flagship Zins, IMHO. I'm starting to see signs that maybe they will be more of that level of quality. Maybe my expectations
of the ATP Zins is just too high. But I think Nervo/Ponzo/Buchagnani/Carmichael could make Zins every bit the equal of Lytton/Pagano/Dusi/Geyserville.
I'm just talking about the ATP Zins (or field blends) here. The Rhone program is a whole nuther subject.
What I'd really like to see is Ridge experiment a bit more w/ other vnyds, up in Mendocino, over in Lodi, up in Amador. But those lots would be so small
(probably 10-25 brls), that Ridge probably doesn't feel it's worth the effort.
Tom
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Re: Well...

Postby Tom Troiano » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:05 pm

TomHill wrote:
Tom,

Originally, the ATP Zins were very small lots that would be totally lost in National distribution and wines that were rather special.

Tom


Tom,

In the sentence above does the phrase "and wines that were rather special" refer to the ATP wines or other Ridge wines (that are special).
Tom T.
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Re: Well...

Postby TomHill » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:18 pm

Tom Troiano wrote:
TomHill wrote:
Tom,

Originally, the ATP Zins were very small lots that would be totally lost in National distribution and wines that were rather special.

Tom


Tom,

In the sentence above does the phrase "and wines that were rather special" refer to the ATP wines or other Ridge wines (that are special).


It refers to small lots that were often exceptional, outstripping the regular releases, that they put into the ATP program to share them w/ Ridge fans.
There are still a few of these that are so small that they don't make a standard "ship" to ATP customers, but offer them on a first-come/first-serve
basis to their ATP group.
Tom
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