The summer issue of Wine & Spirits features great scores for two Ridge wines:
“The founding partners at Ridge purchased the Monte Bello Winery from Leo and Evelyn Trentadue, who also farmed some of the oldest surviving vines in Sonoma County at their ranch on the Alexander Valley floor near Geyserville. The Old Patch, planted in the 1880s, has provided the base of the blend for Ridge’s single-vineyard wine since 1966. In 2020, it was harvested just as the first fires broke out; generations of vines at the Trentadue’s ranch provided 28 different lots, with John Olney selecting 20 for this wine. He finds that carignan, which makes up 20 percent of the mixed planting (along with small amounts of petite sirah, alicante bouschet and mataro), provides the acidity to refresh the zinfandel, which accounts for 69 percent of the vines. The early harvest produced a ripe, rich Geyserville with racy energy. The dark blueberry flavors are layered with red cherry, their seemingly weightless concentration sustained in a sleek, clean and graceful impression that lasts. A great 2020.” -J.G.
“The site of an abandoned zinfandel vineyard from the 19th century, East Bench is close to Lytton Springs, at the border between the Dry Creek and Alexander valleys. [VP of Vineyard Operations, David] Gates farms the vineyard as if it were one of the historic sites, the vines head trained and spur pruned. John Olney, now COO and head winemaker at Ridge, has been in charge at Lytton Springs since this project began. The vines are now hitting their stride, this wine’s grapes harvested just as the fires began in 2020, their fruit providing what may be the most beautiful East Bench Zinfandel yet. The wine feels completely ripe, a cool well of fruit surrounded by earthen depth of tannins. Over the course of several days, the wine yields flavors of blueberries, roses and savory herbs, the detail in the tannins suggesting a long life ahead.” -J.G.