Ridge 2008 California GeyservilleÂ®
2008 Geyserville Vineyard, bottled January 2010
72% zinfandel, 20% carignane, 6% petite sirah, 2% mataro
14.8% alcohol by volume
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 25.3Â°
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
First RIDGE Geyserville: 1966
Location: Western edge of Alexander Valley, Sonoma County.
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.
Yields: One to three tons per acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed; fish-friendly agriculture
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.