New Wine Scores Awarded by James Suckling

March 2021

New wine scores by James Suckling recently arrived for seven of our recent releases, including our Monte Bello Estate wines and Z list releases. The scores ranged from 93 to 99 points. Describing Ridge Vineyards as a “decades-old favorite, producing one of California’s greatest collectors’ wine” Suckling published the following scores:

99 Points: 2017 Monte Bello

2017 Monte Bello wine

“This shows incredible intensity and depth of blackberries, pine needles, blackcurrants and black olives. Conifer, too. Love the nose. Full-bodied with so many layers of fruit and very fine, creamy tannins. It goes on for minutes. Impressive density with such weightlessness. Superb wine. Drink in 2026 and onwards.”

97 Points: 2018 Monte Bello

“A bright and beautiful Monte Bello with dark and black fruit, such as blackcurrants, as well as walnuts and hints of vanilla. Full-bodied with creamy tannins that are there from start to finish. Turns lightly dusty. Beautiful length. Really pure and focused. Needs time to come together completely, but already a beauty. Drink after 2025.”

94 Points: 2018 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

“A beautiful, fresh red with blackberry, blueberry and some chocolate. Pine, light toffee and coffee undertones. Dried herbs, too. Medium to full body with intensity and richness. Dusty tannins. Savory finish. Very drinkable now, but even better in 2023.”

94 Points: 2019 Geyserville

“A beautiful red with lots of blackberries, cloves, stone, spice and purple fruit. It’s full and balanced with a creamy texture and a flavorful finish. Some graphite to the black fruit. More zin this year in the blend. 71% zinfandel, 19% carignan, 7% petite sirah and 3% alicante bouschet. Drink now.”

94 Points: 2019 Paso Robles Zinfandel

“Soft and round with dried fruit, light raisin and pepper. Some chocolate, too. It’s medium-bodied, juicy and flavorful. Spicy finish. Pure zin. Drink now.”

94 Points: 2019 East Bench Zinfandel

“Fresh, almost pinot-like sensibility with the mouth feel. A beautifully spread wine that fills the palate, but maintains freshness and brightness. Real purity of fruit here. Lots of black and red cherry. Citrus undertones. 100% zinfandel. Drink now.”

93 Points: 2018 Boatman Zinfandel

“Lots of dried fruit with subtle fig-newton aromas that follow through to a full, dense and layered body with rich fruit and spice. Juicy and peppery with cloves and some cedar. Firm, dusty tannins. 98% zinfandel and 2% petite syrah. Give it a year or two.”

Tasting Interview with James Suckling

In addition to the above ratings, on March 9th, 2021, Suckling interviewed John Olney, Head Winemaker & COO, along with David Amadia, President, and tasted a range of the newest releases. You can find that interview here:


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