In the 1970s, Tim Boatman planted a vineyard on a steep east-facing slope overlooking Alexander Valley. John Olney has been making a wine from its old bush vines since 2014, and it is quickly becoming a star of Ridge’s zinfandel portfolio (the 2016 earned 93 points). This wine benefited from an early harvest, at the end of August, long before the devastating wildfires at the end of the 2017 season. And it feels like it captured the August sun in its rich red-licorice flavors, the scent of roses on a summer morning, the spice of zinfandel skins and a breath of petrichor that cools the wine, as if refreshed after a summer rain. For me, that’s exactly what I want in a zin: complete, complex and packed with energy.
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
This story appears in the print issue of June 2020.
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