84% Zinfandel, 12% Carignane, 4% Petite Sirah
Ripe, opulent black cherry fruit, typical Geyserville spice, chalky tannins, nicely integrated oak, layers of flavor. Exceptional depth, definition, balance. Needs time.
Groundwater from abundant spring rains sustained the vines through a mild summer. From mid-September to mid-October, the individual parcels on this exceptional site were harvested as each ripened. During the natural-yeast fermentation, color developed more quickly than usual – but so did tannin. Though we limited the time the grapes were submerged, and cut back on juice circulation, the structure was more reminiscent of cabernet than zinfandel. Most of the petite sirah blocks – which would have added still more tannin – were held out, and we fined the wine with fresh egg whites. Firm acidity and rich black fruit are perfectly balanced by the now-elegant structure. This wine is classic Geyserville, lovely when young, yet with the potential to develop beautifully over the next ten or more years. PD (10/03)
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: Just over forty inches, most in winter.
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool April and May; May rain affected set. Summer and fall fairly even; no intense heat.
Harvest Dates: 10 September – 14 October
Grapes: Average brix 26.8; average pH at crush 3.43.
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary; half submerged cap, half floating cap. Pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (27% new, 20% two-year-old, 53% three, four, and five).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Quarterly Review of Wines (Summer 2005): Highly Recommended (the 2003 Zinfandel Paso Robles received Best of Show of 87 zinfandels tasted blind).
Wine Advocate (28 Feb 2005): “Another reference point effort from Ridge, the 2002 Geyserville Proprietary Red (84% Zinfandel, 12% Carignan, and 4% Petite Sirah) boasts a rich, sumptuous bouquet of blackberries, kirsch liqueur, damp earth, and licorice. Full-bodied and powerful, with good acidity as well as surprising elegance, this ruby/purple-colored, heady 2002 can be drunk over the next 7-8 years.” Rated: 92
California Grapevine (Oct-Nov 2004): “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, forward, intense, jammy, plummy, ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit aromas with notes of creamy American oak; full body; big, textured, cedary, chocolatey, dark berry fruit flavors that faded a bit on the tight, harsh finish; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Well balanced and shows some elegance and bottle aging potential. Very highly recommended.” Rated: 90
Connoisseurs’ Guide (Sep 2004): “While relying on ripeness to no small degree, this attention-getting wine has plenty of fruit at its heart, and its generous measure of berries is enriched with elements of chocolate, cassis and a hint of loamy earth. It is moderately full-bodied with a thick, fleshy feel, yet for all of its considerable depth and intensity, it is neither heavy nor hot. Any near-term drinking will require accompanying foods of real substance, but, as we have so clearly seen in this month’s centerfold feature, Geyservilles age with the best and this one will grow for a decade or more.” Rated: 91
Average Rating: 90.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 182
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