71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Mataro (Mourvèdre), 1% Alicante Bouschet
Ruby color. Pungent bramble fruit, wintergreen, licorice, sweet toasted oak. Rich black cherry fruit on entry. Elegant chalky tannins, gravel/rock, ginger root. Layered, sensuous finish. EB (11/13)
A dry winter, mild spring, and warm summer at first advanced ripening, but heavy autumn fogs slowed progress. Harvest began September 17, finishing in mid-October. Grapes from the individual parcels were crushed to separate fermentors, some fitted with grids for submerged-cap fermentation. All were pumped over daily, drawing out rich color and full body. Malolactics were complete by November, when thirteen of the seventeen parcels were selected. This superb vintage will be most enjoyable 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: 24 inches (below average)
Weather: Warm spring and a long, mild summer.
Harvest Dates: 17 September – 17 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.5
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; 6 of the 27 tanks were fitted with submerged cap grids, both those and the tanks with a floating cap were given full pump-overs; pressed at 9 days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (24% new, 25% one and two years old, 51% three and four years old.)
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
Ingredients: Hand harvested, sustainably grown grapes; indigenous yeasts; naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; fresh egg white; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective SO2.
All estate-grown, hand harvested grapes. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria. Six fresh egg whites per barrel to moderate the firm texture of tannins; minimum effective sulfur (30 ppm at crush; 164 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (July 2014): 93 Points “The 2012 Zinfandel Geyserville is quite exuberant in this vintage. Savory herbs, tobacco, smoke, menthol and dark red/blackish-toned fruit burst from the glass in an exotic, juicy Zinfandel-based field blend loaded with personality. The tannins could use another year to soften, but readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this jewel of a wine. The brisk, energetic finish is incredibly appealing. The blend is 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro (Mourvedre).” -Antonio Galloni
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (May 2014): 93 Points “Inky purple. A heady, exotically perfumed bouquet displays scents of dark berry liqueur, potpourri, smoky oak and Indian spices, with a hint of licorice in the background. Fleshy, palate-staining black raspberry and boysenberry flavors become brighter and spicier with air and pick up a sexy lavender pastille nuance. Supple tannins add support to an extremely long, sweet finish that extends the berry and floral notes. As fine an example of this consistently excellent bottling as I’ve had in years. ” -Josh Raynolds
Wine Advocate (Issue 215, October 2014): 91 Points “Ridge’s 2012 Proprietary Red Geyserville is a blend of 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and the rest Mourvedre and Alicante Bouchet. It exhibits a dark ruby/plum color, loads of berry fruit intermixed with earth, pepper and spice, and good freshness as well as precision. This sensual, spicy 2012 can be consumed over the next 5-6 years.”
California Grapevine (Vol. 41, January 2015): “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, rustic, earthy, briary, blue and red berry fruit aroma with spicy notes and hints of dill and graphite; medium-full to full body; ripe, herbal, berry fruit flavors with firm acidity and a hint of chocolate; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Should continue to develop with a few more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended.”
(Group Score: 16.2, 1/0/0; My Score: 17 [91/100], fourth place)
Wine Spectator (15 October 2014): 90 Points “Focused and structured yet surprisingly light on its feet, this offers smoky plum and dill aromas that lead to zesty flavors of raspberry, fresh anise and spice box. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mataro and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2020.” -Tim Fish
San Francisco Chronicle (7 December 2014) – Top 100 Wines: Zinfandel and Other Reds – “After several tricky vintages, Geyserville is back in amazing stride. There’s a sense of harmony and completion to the flavors and texture that mark this wine the more contemplative among Ridge’s Zinfandel roster (here with Carignane, Petite Sirah and more) in its best years. Deep and supple, with blackberry, ripe pluot and an inkiness, plus the perfect savory accents: toasted poppy seed, anise, chicories.” -Jon Bonne
Average Rating: 90.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 385
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