Saturated ruby color. Intense dark berry fruits, gravel earth, black licorice, mint, and exotic spices. Powerful bramble fruit entry, sensuous, well-defined tannins, great depth of flavor, enjoyable lengthy finish. EB (2/17)
A warm winter brought bud-break in February. Rain during bloom reduced yields, followed by ideal summer weather, resulting in an early harvest. Thirty-seven lots fermented separately, producing superb quality. A rigorous selection narrowed the assemblage to thirty-one for our fiftieth anniversary vintage. This sensuous wine came together beautifully during barrel aging. It will develop fully within the next twenty 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: 33 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Very wet December, followed by the driest January on record (0.05”). Cool, wet late spring helped with rainfall totals, but reduced our crop across all varieties. Harvest started early (mid-August) and finished quickly.
Harvest Dates: 18 August – 15 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.3˚
Fermentation: Full crush, 100% floating cap. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; daily pump-overs; pressed at 8 days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (5% new, 14% one and 81% three and four years old.)
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel.
Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested estate-grown grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.12mg/L calcium carbonate added to 13 of 31 fermentors; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 77 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (August 2017): 94 Points. “It’s hard to believe that Ridge’s iconic Zinfandel Geyserville celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2015. Today, the wine is quite deep, powerful and unyielding. Of course, the low yields of the vintage have a lot to do with that. I am not surprised winemaker Eric Baugher decided to give the 2015 a few more months in barrel, as there is a lot of stuffing here. The interplay of fruit, aromatics and acidity is compelling. Red cherry jam, pomegranate, rose petal and woodsmoke infuse the finish. The 2015 is going to need time to be at its best, but it is impressive.” – Antonio Galloni
Zinfandel Chronicles (October 2020): 94 Points. “Crimson in color. Stunning nose of black fruits, licorice, earth and white pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Packed with fruit but presented in restrained and elegant style. Black cherry, raspberry liqueur, plums and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Tremendous Geyserville that is a worthy representation of the 50th vintage of this wine. Best over the next 5-7 years.” – Tom Lee
Wine Spectator (WS Online – June 12, 2017): 90 Points – “Big but polished, with floral black cherry and roasted dill aromas and rich, slightly earthy flavors of dark plum, licorice and spicy clove. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Best after 2018.” – TF
Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine (May 2017): 95 Points – “Sporting a deep mix of dark fruits that runs from cassis to blackberries along with complexing elements of cocoa and earthy spice, this year’s edition of the Ridge Geyserville evokes all the accustomed richness that we have come to expect. It is a well-extracted and eminently ageworthy offering whose tannic, youthfully tight structure warrants a wait, but its astringency is never out of bounds and its insistently fruity finish is the hallmark of a wine guaranteed to repay five or more years of keeping with great dividends.”
Average Rating: 91.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 200
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