72% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro
Intense purple/blue. Ripe black cherry, blueberry, plum sauce. Gravel/mineral, mint/menthol, oak spice. Full body. Dark bramble fruit, firm acid, plush tannins. Great depth and complexity.
Two consecutive years of limited rainfall challenged the growing season, but because yields were low, the vines escaped serious water stress. Sampling began in mid-August, showing ripeness on track for a monthlong September harvest. In tank, color and tannin extraction was unusually rapid, as were uninoculated primary fermentations. We reduced pump-overs and pressed early, avoiding harsher tannins. Zinfandel and carignane showed exceptional quality, and form the core of the blend. (Wines from the petite sirah parcels were too tannic; the six percent included comes from a field-blend.) Natural secondary fermentation finished quickly, and we could rack to barrel a month ahead of schedule. Twenty percent new oak adds exotic spice. Superb concentration and firm acid will allow this fine zinfandel to develop over the next ten to fifteen years.
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: Below average at 35 inches, with a very dry spring.
Bloom: Early May, that then set a crop of average size.
Weather: Dry spring and typical warm, dry summer, with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 23 August – 1 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.3
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; limited use of submerged cap, limited pump-overs. Pressed at six days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 31% one and two years, 49% four to five years old).
Time in Barrel: Fourteen months
San Francisco Chronicle (23 January 2011) – Six Favorite Recent Zinfandels – ” A perfumed, vervy Geyserville (technically 72 percent Zin) with bright mineral, boysenberry and cardamom.” -Jon Bonne Read the SFGate.com article
The Tasting Panel (October 2010): “Mellow and lush with smooth texture and silky plum, cassis and spice; pillowy and rich with a pleasant tanginess; long and generous.” (Rated: 90)
Connoisseurs’ Guide (Vol. 34, Issue 7, May 2010): “It has never been easy to regard Ridge’s Geyserville bottlings simply as Zin, for, as once again is so evident here, they show a measure of depth and a degree of complexity rarely found in wines of the same name. Both rich and refined with sweeping impressions of red and black berries, sweet oak, briar, and just a touch of spiced candy, the wine exhibits remarkable energy and is never other than perfectly balanced. Its polish is sure to tempt many into drinking it now, but it has the pedigree and pieces in place to grow for years.” Rated: 94 (**)
California Grapevine (Vol. 36, No. 2, April-May 2010): “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, briary, black cherry and blueberry fruit aroma with hints of vanilla, black pepper, and tobacco; full body; big, forward, rich, chocolatey, brambly, black raspberry fruit flavors with a plush mouthfeel; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Deserves several more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended.” (Group Score: 16.0 of 20 points, 1/3/2; My Score: 17 [90/100], fifth place)
Wine Advocate (Issue 187, 27 Feb 2010): “The 2008 Geyserville Proprietary Red (72% Zinfandel, 20% Carignan, and the rest Petite Sirah, Mataro, and Mourvedre; 14.8% alcohol) exhibits a dense ruby/purple color along with lots of glycerin, blue and black fruits, pepper, and incense. This rich, fleshy 2008 may turn out to be more juicy and succulent than the 2007. It should last for 7-8 years. (Not yet released)” -Robert Parker, Rated: (90-92)
Average Rating: 90.4
No. of Tasting Notes: 386
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