70% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro
Color – Ruby. Nose – Plum and black cherry fruit, cherry cobbler, cocoa, mint, crushed gravel, pepper, sweet oak. Palate – Appealing sweet ripe bramble fruit, cherry jam, chocolate, elegant chalky structure, fruit-covered tannins, juicy acid and plum fruit in finish. Graceful and sensuous.
Winter rains continued into late March, sustaining the vines through summer. A full crop-” comparable to 2005-” was thinned to intensify flavors. In September, as fog off the Pacific persisted, we dropped more clusters to eliminate damage to the fruit. Each parcel fermented separately on natural yeasts. Color and tannin extracted easily; we pressed at near-dryness after seven days. The uninoculated secondary finished within three weeks. Assemblage began October 10, when all the mixed-varietal parcels and one of petite sirah were combined. Based on further tastings, four zinfandel blocks were added, then two century-old carignane blocks for their opulence and complexity. At the end of June, a last rich, well-structured zinfandel lot completed assemblage. After fourteen months in barrel, the wine is fully integrated. Elegant tannins and intense fruit make it enjoyable now; it will be best over the next eight to ten years. (EB 11/07)
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: Fifty-five inches (above average); late spring/early summer rains
Bloom: Mid May; set above average.
Weather: Wet spring and warm, dry summer; rain at the end of harvest.
Harvest Dates: 14 September – 16 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.6
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; limited use of submerged cap, limited pump-overs. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (17% new, 39% one and two years, 46% three to six years old)
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
Wine & Spirits (February 2009): Year”s Best Zinfandel – “A plump, juicy zinfandel, this manages to be vibrant and savory at once. The ancient vines at Geyserville yield spicy berries, their tannins as black as bittersweet chocolate. The impression from the alcohol is generous, while the finish remains clean and cool. Best with at least ten years of cellar time.” Rated: 92
International Wine Cellar (November-December 2008, Issue 141): “Ruby-red. Black raspberry, blueberry, smoked meat and dried violet on the fresh nose. Juicy, sharply focused red and dark berry flavors are dusted with suave minerals and firmed by supple tannins, with an exotic floral pastille note emerging on the back. Finishes sappy, sweet and long, with a deeper cherry note. Already quite complex.” Rated: 91
Wine Spectator (29 September 2008): “Just like the tasty Sonoma field-style blends of yore, with distinct toasty dill and berry cobbler aromas and zesty raspberry, cracked pepper and earthy sage flavors that end with slightly rustic tannins. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Mataro. Drink now through 2015.” (Rated: 90) -Tim Fish
California Grapevine (Vol. 34, No. 4, August-September 2008): “Medium-dark ruby with purplish tinges; attractive, intense, briary, complex, dark berry fruit aroma with hints of dill, green olive and saddle leather; full body; forward, rich, spicy, tarrish, dark berry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; slightly harsh and a bit hard on the finish; lingering aftertaste. A claret style Zinfandel based wine and deserving of a few more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 16.0 of 20 points, 2/0/0; My Score: 17 [91/100], first place)
St. Helena Star (31 July 2008): Wine of the Week – “This marks only the third time I’ve recommended a wine outside of Napa alley in this column… This vintage is one of the more ‘drink me now’ from Ridge, but I would expect you could keep this for two decades easily. It is all juicy, wild berry, white pepper, lip-smacking bright fruit without being jammy or hot. Ridge wines have always been about balance, and this one is no exception. Plus, for a wine this good, it is a head-spinning bargain…” -Stefan Blicker
Connoisseurs’ Guide (May 2008): “It is usual for Ridge’s Geyserville bottling to vie for top Zinfandel honors in every vintage, and, the 2006 version exhibits the depth and density and solid structure that we have come to expect. It hints at chocolate and a bit of raisiny fruit, and picks up an edge of tannin and heat at the end. It is, however, not fully in focus just yet, but given the ageworthy nature of its predecessors, it is likely to improve over time and comes with a recommendation for a several years of cellaring.” Rated: 90 (*)
Average Rating: 90.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 352
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