73% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet
96 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
95 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
95 Points – William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
95 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
Saturated ruby in color. Plum and black cherry fruit aromas, mint, and gravelly earth. Ripe bramble fruit on entry, balanced acidity, and elegant tannins. Long finish. EB (1/18)
Following four years of drought, winter storms finally delivered more rainfall. The vines responded by setting a full crop. Harvest was completed in the month of September. Once assembled, the wine spent twelve months in barrel integrating the fruit and tannins. This exotic wine shows the great complexity of a field blend. Appealing now, it will reach full maturity within the next fifteen years.
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site zinfandel 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: 31.6 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: A wet December and January helped ease the drought; a very wet March emphatically ended it. Cool weather in April reduced yields a bit. Several heat spikes in late June and late July helped ripen the below normal size crop.
Harvest Dates: 6 – 30 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9˚
Fermentation: Full Crush, 100% floating cap. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; daily pump-overs; pressed at 9 days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 6% one, 9% two, and 65% three and four years old.)
Aging: Twelve 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; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 180 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.
JamesSuckling.com (Nov 2018): 96 Points “This is impressive for the sense of presence and depth it delivers on the nose and palate with subtly spiced dark plums and cherries, as well as cocoa powder and a superbly composed structure that delivers a seamless, long and fresh finish. A blend of 73 per cent zinfandel, 17 per cent carignane, seven per cent petite sirah and three per cent alicante bouschet. Drink or hold. ” – James Suckling
Vinous Media (Aug 2018): 95 Points
“The 2016 Zinfandel Geyserville is a powerful, tightly wound wine. Beams of supporting tannin and acidity give the 2016 its distinctly virile, imposing personality. Black cherry, graphite, lavender, and spice are all laced throughout. Deceptively medium in body, the 2016 packs a serious punch. It also needs at least a few years in bottle to settle down, as the tannins are quite imposing, There is a purity to the 2016 that is absolutely striking.” – Antonio Galloni
JebDunnuck.com (Jun 2018): 95 Points. “The 2016 Geyserville is the usual Zinfandel-dominated blend and includes 17% Carignan, 7% Petite Sirah, and 3% Alicante Bouschet. It offers a gorgeous bouquet of ripe red and black cherries, caramelized plums, toasted spices, and exotic flowers. This gives way to a seamless, medium to full-bodied, elegant Geyserville that has plenty of intensity, sweet tannin, and perfect balance. This beauty just glides over the palate and is one of the more approachable vintages of this cuvée I can remember. Nevertheless, it will keep for at least a decade. It’s a great wine.” – Jeb Dunnuck
The Wine Advocate (May 2018): 95 Points. “The 2016 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine is a real success this year, bursting from the glass with an exuberant bouquet of sweet cherries, blackberries and plums, with subtle hints of the licorice and spice to come with age, and a subtle framing of sweet new oak. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a lovely core of ripe, succulent fruit and beautifully fine-grained structuring tannins. The finish is long and pure. There are 23 different grape varieties co-planted in the Geyserville vineyard, but in 2016, Zinfandel dominates at 73%, followed by 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet.” – William Kelley
Vinous Media (Aug 2017): 91-94 Points. “The 2016 Zinfandel Geyserville is bright, lifted and decidedly medium in body. The flavors are distinctly red toned and the acids are bright. Sweet red cherry, red plum, mint and floral notes add nuance, but it is the wine’s overall energy that really makes an impression. Even at this early stage, the 2016 Geyserville is a knock-out.” —Antonio Galloni
California Grapevine (Vol. 44, May 2018): “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, deep, intense, spicy, raspberry and black cherry fruit aroma with hints of cinnamon, dill, cedar, and black pepper; full body; forward, ripe, concentrated, mouth-filling, red and dark fruit flavors with undertones of American oak, and currently tending to be a bit hard on the finish; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Deserves two to four more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended.” (Group Score: 16.4, 2/1/0; My Score: 17 [91/100], first place)
Average Rating: 91.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 83
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