Color: Deep ruby. Nose: Ripe black cherry, plum, pepper, chocolate, gravelly soil. Hint of mint; layered vanilla, clove. Palate: Rich, dark brambly fruit. Full-bodied and vibrant, coated tannins, lively acidity. Black fruit and characteristic regional gravel/mineral/earth. A long, complex finish.
Ridge made its first Geyserville in 1966, from nineteenth- century vines growing on the western edge of Alexander Valley. Over time, we have included more grapes planted along this quarter-mile-wide strip, which follows the old San Francisco & Northern Pacific Railway right-of-way. This distinctive “single site” now consists of three adjoining vineyards that share the same gravelly soils, exposure, and climate. In 2003, a period of intense heat in mid-September ripened all the zinfandel within two weeks; we harvested non-stop to hold sugars and over-ripeness in check. Reduced circulation during the natural-yeast fermentations moderated tannin extraction. We pressed at seven days, and a natural malolactic finished within five weeks. After a year of barrel aging in air-dried american oak, the wine was fined with fresh egg whites. This elegant Geyserville is delightful now, but will gain in complexity over the next five to eight years. EB/PD (11/04)
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site zinfandel in every year since 1966. The grapes are grown on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter mile long, which now includes three adjoining vineyards.
Rainfall: Sixty inches (slightly above normal)
Bloom: May (normal)
Weather: Wet and unseasonably cool during April and May; moderate temperatures through August. Three-day heat wave in mid-September.
Harvest Dates: 16 – 26 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.1; average pH at crush 3.37.
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; Limited use of submerged cap, limited pump-overs. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (15% new, 3 0% one year old, 55% three to six years old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate (1 Jun 2006): W. Blake Gray’s Wine of the Week. Hear audio at SFGate.com audio
Connoisseurs’ Guide Connoisseurs’ Guide (Jan 2006): “Geyserville bottlings typically have an uncanny knack for being very ripe, very deep and quite friendly at one and the same time, and this rich, fully extracted effort is all of the above. It brings together loads of brambly, blackberry fruit, creamy oak and subtle tones of dark chocolate, and it sports just enough tannin to give spine to its essentially supple style. Its accessible richness is bound to tempt early drinking, but, as experience has repeated taught with this property, the wine will develop famously for a good many years yet.” Rated: 91 (**)
San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate (27 July 2005): “Elegant and easy to drink. Aromas of raspberry, blackberry, menthol, black pepper, black currant, licorice and earth. Flavors of blackberry and raspberry with hints of mint, licorice, earth and vanilla. Short-medium finish. The oldest vines are 120, and the average age is about 45.”
San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate (10 Mar 2005): “An elegant, easy-to-drink wine. Aromas of raspberry, blackberry, menthol, black pepper, black currant, licorice and earth. Flavors of blackberry and raspberry with hints of mint, licorice, earth and vanilla. Gentle, like a great Merlot. Short-medium finish. Blend of 76 percent Zinfandel, 18 percent Carignane and 6 percent Petite Sirah.”
Average Rating: 89.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 183
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