77% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 6% Petite Sirah
Color: Opaque ruby. Nose: Bruiting-lifted plum and blackcherry fruit, mint, cocoa powder, clove and cardamom spice, licorice, wet-gravelly earth/mineral, and old vine pepper. Palate: Rich blackcherry jam layered with plum, briary fruits, and ripe tropical guava. Juicy and lively acidity, full bodied structure, elegant yet well-defined tannin structure. Lengthy finish with great complexity showing.
Cool, rainy weather in early spring delayed budbreak, but clear skies by late March brought flowering and a good set by mid-May. Above-average temperatures throughout the summer moved ripening along, and we started to sample for flavor in late August. Mild fall weather with occasional fog slower maturation while allowing color and flavor to deepen. Harvesting began in mid-September and extended over twenty days as each of the thirty-three parcels ripened fully. The separate lots fermented on their natural yeasts, and were pressed at dryness (average seven days); once natural malolactic was underway, we began assembling the finest and most characteristic. Because of the zinfandel’s unusually firm structure, we included very little petite sirah. As in most years, the 120-year-old carignane was an elegant, vibrant addition. This outstanding vintage aged fourteen months in air-dried american oak. Rich primary fruit gives the wine immediate appeal; it will develop greater complexity over the next ten years. EB/PD (12/06)
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site zinfandel in every year since 1966. The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter miles long and a half-mile wide.
Rainfall:More than sixty inches (above average); late spring/early summer rains.
Bloom: Early May (normal); set a very full crop.
Weather: Cool, wet spring and warm, dry summer, with no intense heat at harvest.
Harvest Dates: 16 September – 5 October
Grapes: Average brix 25.3
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; limited use of submerged cap, limited pump-overs. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 8% one year old, 72% two to six years old)
Aging: Fourteen months in barrels
Quarterly Review of Wines (Summer 2008): 4-Star California Zinfandels – “Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards has long understood that Zinfandel can be great when it’s fleshed out with something like Petite Sirah or Carignane. Other California winemakers are beginning finally to follow his lead, and Zinfandel, as a result, has never been better. Soft, plump, juicy, utterly fetching, black fruit, French roast and nutty oak flavors.” (Rated: ****)
Connoisseurs’ Guide (January 2008): “Some years back Ridge removed the varietal identifier from its Geyserville red wine made substantially from Zinfandel but a field-blend in reality. But whatever they call it, it has been and continues to be a terrific Zinfandel by any standard. Its deep but still developing aromas of berries, brownies and sweet oak give way to more open and accessible ripe-berry flavors, and, contrary to the latter-day norm, the wine is free of excessive ripeness or evident heat. It has the depth to enjoy now, but given Geyserville’s track record for longevity and the wine’s nascent character, it is wise to cellar away a few bottles.” Rated: 95 (***) Connoisseurs’ Choice
Average Rating: 90.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 323
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