2008 Geyserville

Ridge 2008 California Geyserville®

2008 Geyserville Vineyard, bottled January 2010
72% zinfandel, 20% carignane, 6% petite sirah, 2% mataro
14.8% alcohol by volume

2008 Geyserville

Two consecutive years of limited rainfall challenged the growing season, but because yields were low, the vines escaped serious water stress. Sampling began in mid-August, showing ripeness on track for a monthlong September harvest. In tank, color and tannin extraction was unusually rapid, as were uninoculated primary fermentations. We reduced pump-overs and pressed early, avoiding harsher tannins. Zinfandel and carignane showed exceptional quality, and form the core of the blend. (Wines from the petite sirah parcels were too tannic; the six percent included comes from a field-blend.) Natural secondary fermentation finished quickly, and we could rack to barrel a month ahead of schedule. Twenty percent new oak adds exotic spice. Superb concentration and firm acid will allow this fine zinfandel to develop over the next ten to fifteen years. EB (11/09)

Tasting Notes - Intense purple/blue. Ripe black cherry, blueberry, plum sauce. Gravel/mineral, mint/menthol, oak spice. Full body. Dark bramble fruit, firm acid, plush tannins. Great depth and complexity. EB (3/10)


Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site zinfandel in every year since 1966. The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter miles long and a half-mile wide.


Harvest Dates: 23 August - 1 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.3°
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; limited use of submerged cap, limited pump-overs. Pressed at six days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 31% one and two years, 49% four to five years old)
Time in Barrel: Fourteen months


Geyserville map

First RIDGE Geyserville: 1966
Location: Western edge of Alexander Valley, Sonoma County.
Elevation: 200'
Soils: Gravelly loam
Vines: Zinfandel, petite sirah, carignane interplanted circa 1880, 6 acres
carignane planted c. 1890, 7 acres
zinfandel planted 1965, 12 acres
petite sirah planted 1980, 5 acres
zinfandel planted 1991, 15 acres
petite sirah planted 1994, 3.5 acres
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned.
Climate: Occasional morning fog, warm days with frequent evening breezes.
Exposure: Southern
Yields: One to three tons per acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed; fish-friendly agriculture

Growing Season

Rainfall: Below average at 35 inches, with a very dry spring.
Bloom: Early May, that then set a crop of average size.
Weather: Dry spring and typical warm, dry summer, with no sustained heat spells.


Bottle   UPC   Packaged   SRP   Notes
750mL   744442301003   12x750mL   $35   60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)
375mL half   744442300006   12x375mL   $20    
1.5L magnum   744442302000   6x1.5L   $73    
3L double magnum   744442303007   1x3L   $175   individually boxed

SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
Geyserville® is a registered trademark of Ridge Vineyards, Inc. in the US and other countries.


  • new San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle (23 January 2011) - Six Favorite Recent Zinfandels - " A perfumed, vervy Geyserville (technically 72 percent Zin) with bright mineral, boysenberry and cardamom." -Jon Bonné Read article at SFGate.comArticle
  • Tasting Panel The Tasting Panel (October 2010): "Mellow and lush with smooth texture and silky plum, cassis and spice; pillowy and rich with a pleasant tanginess; long and generous." (Rated: 90)
  • Connoisseurs' Guide Connoisseurs' Guide (Vol. 34, Issue 7, May 2010): "It has never been easy to regard Ridge's Geyserville bottlings simply as Zin, for, as once again is so evident here, they show a measure of depth and a degree of complexity rarely found in wines of the same name. Both rich and refined with sweeping impressions of red and black berries, sweet oak, briar, and just a touch of spiced candy, the wine exhibits remarkable energy and is never other than perfectly balanced. Its polish is sure to tempt many into drinking it now, but it has the pedigree and pieces in place to grow for years." Rated: 94 (**)
  • California Grapevine California Grapevine (Vol. 36, No. 2, April-May 2010): "Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, briary, black cherry and blueberry fruit aroma with hints of vanilla, black pepper, and tobacco; full body; big, forward, rich, chocolatey, brambly, black raspberry fruit flavors with a plush mouthfeel; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Deserves several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended."
    (Group Score: 16.0 of 20 points, 1/3/2; My Score: 17 [90/100], fifth place)
  • Wine Advocate Wine Advocate (Issue 187, 27 Feb 2010): "The 2008 Geyserville Proprietary Red (72% Zinfandel, 20% Carignan, and the rest Petite Sirah, Mataro, and Mourvedre; 14.8% alcohol) exhibits a dense ruby/purple color along with lots of glycerin, blue and black fruits, pepper, and incense. This rich, fleshy 2008 may turn out to be more juicy and succulent than the 2007. It should last for 7-8 years. (Not yet released)" -Robert Parker, Rated: (90-92)