68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet
96 Points – Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate
95 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
94+ Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
94 Points – Wine & Spirits
93 Points – Wine Spectator
93 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Dark ruby color. Intense black cherry fruit aroma, exotic oak spice, cola, mint, and complex gravel earth. Intense bramble fruit entry, sensuous textural tannins, lively acid, and showing great minerality in a long finish. EB (2/20)
Winter was dry, though storms in March brought significant rain. Summer remained cool, with warmth arriving just before harvest in mid-September. Fermentations took longer to fully extract color and tannin. Carignane and petite sirah showed exceptional quality, particularly when co-fermented within the old vine zinfandel parcels. This sensuous wine, with its rich fruit and wonderful complexity, will be enjoyable over the next twelve 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: 22 inches (below normal)
Weather: Winter rains were light this year, totaling 22 inches. Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 14 – 28 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.8˚
TA: 6.45 g/L
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 (11% new, 42% one and two years-old, 47% three and four years-old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
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; SO2; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
The Wine Advocate: 96 Points “The 2018 Geyserville is a blend of 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet. It’s incredibly alluring, offering up layers of warm, tricolored fruits and loads of spicy accents on the nose, with a dusty, mineral-tinged undercurrent that adds to its appeal. In the mouth, it’s generously fruited and fantastically juicy, its silt-like tannins providing just enough support, and it finishes very long and layered.” -Erin Brooks (February 2021)
JebDunnuck.com: 95 Points “A wine that always delivers, the 2018 Geyserville checks in as 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah, and the rest Alicante Bouschet. It has a big, cedary bouquet of red and black plums, sandalwood, potpourri, and Asian spices that develops and fills out nicely with time in the glass. This carries to a more medium-bodied Zinfandel that has wonderful purity of fruit, present yet ripe tannins, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. This structured yet ethereal example of this cuvée ranks with the finest vintages to date. Drink it any time over the coming 10-15 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck (May 2020)
Vinous Media: 94+ Points “The 2018 Geyserville is an infant. That much is obvious, especially in this lineup of otherwise more settled 2018s. Ripe Zinfandel flavors drive the overall profile. A blast of wild cherry, leather, tobacco, smoke, licorice, menthol and spice hit the palate first, followed by swaths of tannin and a touch of new oak that suggest the wine still needs time to come together. Readers should be in no rush.” -Antonio Galloni (September 2020)
Wine & Spirits: 94 Points “The history of the vines and the farming come together in this 2018, an elegant California classic. It’s a silky red, a mineral bath of fine vine-wood tannins over complex fruit notes that only emerge days after the bottle is first opened – bergamot, raspberry and cherry skin in subtle, dark red warmth and equally subtle richness. This is a great vintage of Geyserville to treasure in your cellar for as long as you can wait – though it’s usually best to wait at least ten years from the vintage.” -J.G. (October 2020 issue)
Wine Spectator: 93 Points “Robust yet brooding, with multilayered black plum, licorice and Asian five-spice powder flavors that build richness toward big, briary tannins. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet.” – Tim Fish (March 2020)
Blue Lifestyle: 93 Points “A blend that is mostly Zin with a good measure of Carignane; dark and lush with dense jammy fruit; rich but showing a core of tangy acidity, long and deep.” – Anthony Dias Blue (April 2020)
Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points “A smoky, meaty quality separates this concentrated and moderately tannic wine from the pack while gorgeous blackberry and black-cherry flavors coat the palate and linger on the finish. This Zin-based blend adds Carignan, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. It shows soft tannins for a velvety texture, and a warm blend of fruit and oak expressions.” -Jim Gordon (January 2021)
Connoisseurs’ Guide: 91 Points “Ridge’s iconic Geyserville bottlings are always rich and complex wines that stray a bit from the Zinfandel norm, and the latest, as usual, is a deep and substantial, near-brooding offering whose ample dark berry fruit is laced with lots of distinct earthy spice and is up to the task of fighting through no small measure of tannins. Sure to be long-lived and, in fact, emphatically asking for age, the 2018 version is years away from coming fully into its own and should be laid away in the hard-to-reach realms of the cellar for a full half-decade or more.” (July 2020)
Average Rating: 91.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 211
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