74% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah
Intense aromas of black cherry; wet gravel/mineral, mint, firm acidity. Good structure for aging.
A severe frost in April reduced the crop, but warm summer weather ripened the first grapes by late August, and the last by late September. Half the fruit fermented with the cap of skins submerged, the other half with the cap floating. All eighteen parcels completed primary fermentation on their natural yeasts, followed by a natural secondary. Zinfandel tannins this year were significant, so for the first time since 1996 we held out the two principal lots of petite sirah. Aging took place in airdried american oak. Typically, we limit new and near new barrels to a third or less, but this year a quarter of the barrels were new, and another twenty percent one year old — to complement the level of tannin and intensity of berry fruit. Enjoyable now, this structured yet sensuous Geyserville will be at its best over the next seven to ten years. PD (12/02)
Ridge has made a Geyserville from the Trentadue family ranch for thirty-six consecutive years. The majority of grapes are grown on the old Whitten Ranch portion of the property. We obtained a long-term lease on Whitten Ranch in 1990, guaranteeing access to this exceptional fruit — mostly zinfandel plus complementary varietals carignane and petite sirah — for three decades.
Rainfall: Less than normal; most in mid-winter, little in spring, water stress by August.
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Warm spring, summer & fall.
Harvest Dates: 29 August – 28 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.3°; average pH at crush 3.34. Most blocks ripened over a three-week period in September.
Fermentation: No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary; half submerged cap, half floating cap. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 20% one-year-old, 55% three and four).
Aging: 13 months in barrel
Wine Advocate (Oct 2003): The 2001 Geyserville Proprietary Red, a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 18% Carignan, and 8% Petite Sirah, is a beautiful effort. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a tight but promising nose of raspberry and briery fruit intermingled with notions of oak, pepper, and resin. This dense, full-bodied, textured, voluptuous offering is both exuberant and dramatic on the palate. Although the aromatics have not caught up with the flavors, this appears to be an exceptional example of this renowned cuvée. Its 14.4% alcohol is well-disguised beneath some serious concentration. It will drink well for 5-6 years. Rated: 91
Connoisseurs’ Guide (Jun 2003): Long the Zinfandel-based wine most associated with the storied Ridge winery, “Geyserville”, in this current incarnation is a ripe, direct wine filled with notions of blackberry and plum jams along with a faint hint of raisin. Not quite as bold and fleshy as it can be in some years, this version is still an accomplished bottle of wine with a firming spine of age-demanding tannins.
International Wine Cellar (Jun 2003): Deep, bright ruby-red. Super ripe aromas of dried cherry, baked currant and roasted nuts. Fat, dense and sweet, with slightly high-toned, chocolatey flavors; a huge, port-like red blend, just this side of over the top.
Average Rating: 90.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 116
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