75% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah
A warm spring, mild summer, and lack of spring rain brought ripeness early at Geyserville – and throughout Sonoma County. Small clusters of small berries reduced tonnage, but produced great intensity and unusually rapid extraction of color and tannin. Full, daily circulation over the cap was quickly reduced, to achieve a sensuous structure. The twenty-six vineyard parcels provided thirty-eight separate lots; all fermented on their natural yeasts. As natural malolactic finished, we blind-tasted to select the finest and most typical of the vineyard for this wine. As usual, both old carignane blocks were included, as well as a limited amount of petite sirah. After ten months of barrel aging, we added some very rich, spicy zinfandel from a parcel initially held out. The wine spent a full eighteen months in barrel, roughly four more than is customary, bringing the tannins and firm acid into balance. This superb, opulent Geyserville will be enjoyable within a year, and develop fully over the next ten. EB/PD (2/06)
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: Less than forty inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May (normal)
Weather: Dry winter, warm spring and summer.
Harvest Dates: 20 August – 3 September
Grapes: Average brix 26.9
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Limited use of submerged cap, limited pump-overs. Pressed at twelve days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels.
Aging: Eighteen months in barrel
WineLoversPage.com (25 February 2008): 2004 Geyserville is the featured wine on 25 February 2008 in the 30 Second Wine Advisor column at the WineLoversPage.com.
Los Angeles Times (27 June 2007): “From an old vineyard in the Alexander Valley that Ridge has been drawing on for nearly 40 years, it’s a formidable wine that leads with a heady mix of carob and brown sugar spice, with hints of ginger and cocoa.”
Forbes (23 April 2007): “There are many flashier Zinfandels around than this luscious, subtly layered beauty, but balance is the key. The Geyserville provides all the ‘big Zin’ cascades of sappy black fruit, high raspberry notes and a dash of black-pepper spiciness, but not the heavy-Zin palate fatigue or the early brownout–this is a wine to explore with joy for at least the next 10 to 15 years. Paul Draper and Ridge have it down: This is the 39th vintage of the classic field blend (it also contains Carignan, Petite Sirah and ‘mixed blacks’) from an Alexander Valley vineyard with vines dating back 121 years.”
Connoisseurs’ Guide (January 2007): “Of all the Zinfandels produced by this greatly respected winery, none has stood out more than Geyserville over the years. Perhaps it is the very high percentages of other grapes that are planted in the vineyard and have found their ways into the wine. Indeed, in many years, Geyserville has not reached the required 75% Zinfandel content needed to bear the varietal name. That this edition does cross that barrier is not to suggest that its character has changed much over the years. The wine is still full in body, slightly fleshy in feel, noticeably deep in fruit and perceptibly tight in its youth. It also screams to be put in the cellar for three to six years.” Rated: 94 (**)
Average Rating: 89.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 191
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