64% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre)
Intense ruby color. Ripe cherry and plum, peppermint, clove barrel spice, gravel/earth. Well-defined stone fruits on entry, medium- to full-bodied, coated tannins; a long finish with refreshing acidity.
Winters strong grip on California delayed bud-break. Bloom in late May was followed by a cold, foggy summer that set harvest back a month. Extreme heat on August 24 damaged half the zinfandel crop, but left carignane and petite sirah unaffected. Assemblage was later than usual, due in part to slow malolactics, and our need to taste finished wines for the best selection. New oak was held to a minimum; a mix of older cooperage has allowed fruit to dominate. Quantities are, unfortunately, limited. Rich, elegant, and structured, this fine zinfandel will provide enjoyment over the next decade. EB (1/12)
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: 42 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; two very hot days in August (24 & 25) damaged fruit, reducing yields by 50%.
Harvest Dates: 18 September – 14 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; limited use of submerged cap, limited pump-overs; pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 12% one and two years old, 78% three to four years old.)
Aging: Thirteen months
All estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria. 0.26g/liter (17,067 grams total) calcium carbonate to thirteen small fermentors to moderate unusually firm acidity; 2.4 percent rehydration (added to five particularly ripe young vine parcels); minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush; 75 ppm over the course of aging), and seven fresh egg white fining added per barrel to moderate tannins. Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
International Wine Report (September 2012): “The 2010 Geyserville is powerful, exotic and classy. This amazing wine offers notes of sweet currants, blueberries, wild red berries as well as pepper, spiced beef, molasses, floral and fresh mineral mixed in. It’s Caressing, silky and polished with a long pepper-tinged finish. Drink this now or watch it evolve over the next decade. The blend is composed of 64% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet amd 2% Mataro (Mourvedre). (Drink 2012-2022)” (Rated: 93)
California Grapevine (June 2012): “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, intense, briary, earthy, red and black berry fruit aroma with floral notes and hints of dill and sandalwood; medium-full to full body; bright red berry fruit flavors with peppery notes and firm acidity; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 16.3, 2/0/2; My Score: 17 [90/100], third place)
San Francisco Chronicle (4 May 2012) – Sonoma Zinfandel: The Chronicle Recommends – “The modest vintage, and a smaller amount of new oak, left Ridge’s Sonoma wines with a lot of pent-up energy, enough that they’ll reward a couple years in the cellar. Geyserville’s dusty huckleberry fruit (from a mix of Zinfandel with Carignane, Petite Sirah and more) shows up as the wine opens, matched by remarkable tension on the palate: nutmeg, mint, currant and an intensely chewy profile. Give it time to get really interesting.”
Average Rating: 90.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 187
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