Five Ridge Wines Named in Year’s Best US Zinfandels

Wine & Spirits

Wine & Spirits June 2021 Issue

1. 2018 Geyserville – 94 points

An elegant California classic. It’s a silky red, a mineral bath of fine vine-wood tannins over complex fruit notes that only emerge days after the bottle is first opened – bergamot, raspberry and cherry skin in subtle, dark red warmth and equally subtle richness. This is a great vintage of Geyserville to treasure in your cellar for as long as you can wait – though it’s usually best to wait at least ten years from the vintage. –J.G.

2. 2019 Geyserville – 93 points

Ridge 2019 Geyserville

…the wine layers the fruit of successive generations of vines while combining zinfandel and carignane with petite sirah and alicante bouschet. All those elements come together in a complex tapestry of flavor, smoky in its concentration, lasting on scents of herbs, flowers and berries. As elegant as the wine may be, it is not shy in its rich power. Geyserville often reaches its peak between ten and 20 years from the vintage and this one should age as well. –J.G.

3. 2018 Boatman Zinfandel – 91 points

Ridge 2018 Boatman Zinfandel

The east-facing hillside vines at Tim Boatman’s vineyard gave fruit with broad richness in 2018. The wine feels earthy and dynamic, combining purple-plum skin flavors with notes of woodland mushrooms, roots and sassafras. The red baking spices in the tannins lend smokiness to the finish. For slow-smoked pork shoulder. –J.G.

4. 2018 East Bench Zinfandel – 93 points (Best Buy)

John Olney made this wine from vines planted in 2000 and 2001, creating a plump and delicious zinfandel emphasizing cozy fruit richness and firm tannins. It is exuberant, a pleasure to drink, while holding enough tension to make it a cellar candidate. –J.G.

5. 2019 Rockpile – 90 points (Best Buy)

Ridge Vineyards 2019 Rockpile

Blending zinfandel (71 percent) with the blueberry-syrup richness of petite sirah, this is dense red with cranberry-like acidity to corral the pleasant sweetness. There’s a toasted bread note in the end, with oak over stony mineral tannins. For the cellar. –J.G.

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