97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Wine & Spirits
92 Points – Wine Spectator
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast
92 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
Purple/red color, black cherry, cocoa, toasty oak on the nose. Full bodied and soft textured on the palate with blackberry fruit and subtle mint on the finish. JO (1/20)
Mild weather during the growing season extended the ripening period at this old vine vineyard into late September. We picked three weeks later than usual. The slower pace of maturation allowed full flavor development with balanced acidity. To highlight the expression of fruit, new oak was limited to fifteen percent. Enjoyable as a young wine, this rich, elegant zinfandel will mature over the next six years.
This old vine vineyard, owned by Jim Metcalfe, is farmed by Gary Blasi. Poor fruit set and very warm weather leading up to harvest reduced yields. However, quality and concentration of the remaining crop was excellent. Aging in American oak adds spice to the wine’s rich, elegant fruit. This fine zinfandel is enjoyable as a young wine and will be at its best over the next five to six years.
Rainfall: 25 inches (below normal)
Weather: Winter rains were light this year, totaling 25 inches. Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 29 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.4˚
TA: 5.85 g/L
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary for ten days in small fermentors.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (15% new, 45% three years-old, and 40% three years-old).
Aging: Ten months in barrel
All Blasi estate grown grapes, hand-harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria;tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 130 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.
JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “A blend of 97% Zinfandel and 3% Petite Sirah, the 2018 Zinfandel Blasi comes from the Metcalfe Vineyard in Sonoma County. It shows the quality of the vintage beautifully and has a pure, complex bouquet of blueberries, crushed violets, mint, and spring flowers. Juicy, upfront, and straight-up delicious, with medium-bodied richness and ripe, sweet tannins, it’s a gem of a Zinfandel to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck (May 2020)
Wine & Spirits: 93 Points “John Olney makes this wine from Metcalfe Vineyard, an old-vine site farmed by Gary Blasi; like all of Ridge’s zins, it ferments spontaneously, this one delivering an earthy wine with a welcoming plump and velvety texture. With its volcanic-soil character (Chalk Hill is named for the vlocanic ash that gives its soil its whiteness), it reminded Nathaniel Muñoz of Bar Avalon in LA of an Etna wine. It also has a briskness that contrasts its comforting texture, and notes of peach, wild thyme and marjoram that last, with fragrant scents of rose.” – J.G. (June 2020 Issue)
Wine Spectator: 92 Points “Vibrant and multilayered, featuring wild berry flavors, accented by roasted anise and green peppercorn notes that pick up speed toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029.” – T.F (May 2020 Issue)
Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points “This well-balanced, medium-bodied wine has everything in good proportion, from salty, mineral aromas to raspberry and tart cherry on the palate, to mouthfilling cherry and plum flavors, to a lithe structure of moderate tannin and acidity.” -Jim Gordon (January 2021)
Blue Lifestyle: 92 Points “Lush, earthy nose; silky and showing raspberry and spice; silky, herbal and spicy, juicy, fresh and long.” – Anthony Dias Blue (April 2020)
Connoisseurs’ Guide: 91 Points “Very keenly focused on slightly juicy, ripe berry fruit and showing an inviting sense of richness without bending too far to pushy ripeness, the Ridge Blasi bottling is a stylish, very even-handed Zinfandel that possesses good varietal authority and noteworthy balance. It is flavorful, nicely filled and quite congenial in its youth, and it can be easily enjoyed in the short term, yet, while never intrusive, its carefully proportioned underlying tannins signal that there is no need to hurry and will hold it in fine stead for three to five years, if not more.” (July 2020)
Vinous Media: 90 Points “The 2018 Zinfandel Blasi is wild and savory. Sweet tobacco, cedar, mint, dried flowers and earthy notes give the Blasi a somewhat rustic feel. I would give it a few years to come together, as the fruit, acids and tannins each live in their own sphere today. The Blasi is 97% Zinfandel and 3% Petite Sirah from Metcalfe Vineyard in Chalk Hill.” -Antonio Galloni (September 2020)
Average Rating: 90.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 19
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