66% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 17% Petite Sirah
A short crop in vintage 2000 allowed the eighteen small parcels on the Geyserville vineyard to ripen fully, yet maintain firm acidity. We harvested as flavors developed, from mid-September to early October. To extract full flavor, the zinfandel and carignane grapes were broken at crush. To moderate tannins and accentuate fruit, the petite sirah was left as whole berries. We selected fourteen of the parcels—eighty percent of the wine—as most intense, and most typical of the vineyard. A quarter of the air-dried american oak used in aging was new, a quarter one and two years old, the rest three to five. This represents more fresh oak than usual, bringing further complexity and definition to a very rich wine. Delicious now, this beautifully balanced zinfandel will be at its best over the next five to seven years. PD (12/01)
This is the thirty-fifth vintage of Geyserville Ridge has made from the Trentadue family vineyard since the first, in 1966. The majority of grapes are grown on the thirty-six-acre Whitten Ranch portion of the property. We obtained a long-term lease on Whitten in 1990, assuring access to this exceptional fruit for decades to come. All the vines at Geyserville are spur pruned and head trained. Over half are roughly forty years of age; several parcels are well over one hundred.
Geyserville’s 2000 growing season was cooler than the norm, though harvest began, as it often does, in mid-September. Quality was excellent—firm acidity, deep fruit flavors—but, as in 1999, the crop was small. Uneven weather at set, water stress, sunburn (from an unseasonable burst of heat at harvest) and small berry size all played a part in reducing yield.
We used the submerged cap method of fermentation with forty percent of the grapes, for full tannin extraction. On average, the fourteen separately-fermented lots spent nine days on their skins, developing body and richness before being pressed. The nineteenth-century carignane vines added bright fruit and good definition; the petite sirah lent depth, peppery spice, and structural tannin. The barrels used in aging were made of air-dried oak grown in the Appalachians, Minnesota, and the Ozarks—forest
sources favored by Ridge. They ranged in age from new to five years old; each category was carefully monitored to assure that the oak flavors would integrate well with—rather than dominate—the wine. We racked for clarity at quarterly intervals.
In general, the 2000 zinfandel vintage provided very ripe grapes; at Geyserville the ripeness was balanced by unusually high acidity. The result is a rich yet elegant wine. Its jammy, complex fruit gives immediate appeal, while the firm structure promises future delights.
Average Rating: 90.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 77
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