Stone in love

Ridge 2002 Zinfandel Stone Ranch (Sonoma County) – 5% petite sirah, 14.8% alcohol. Quite woody, and it’s the kind of woodiness that’s not going to get better. Ridge zins have a terrific history of melding with their oak (that they ever shed or fully integrate it is, with rare exceptions, a myth; that “Draper perfume” is mostly aging wood), and with many such wines one just needs to submit to the proper patience, but this has already turned the corner towards oblivion. It’s not there yet, but the dark boysenberry jam – past maturity into a heavy, almost syrupy realm – is overwhelmed by coconut. Aging recommendations on Ridge labels, always so precise, can usually withstand a fair bit of extension, but this wine likely did not qualitatively outlast its drink-by date, which is a fair number of years in the past by now. (3/12)

Ridge 2002 Zinfandel Stone Ranch (Sonoma County) – Absolutely identical to the previous bottle, albeit just a slight touch smokier. Call it a confirmation. (5/12)

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