69% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Mataro
96 Points – Karen MacNeil, Decanter
95 Points – Wine & Spirits
95 Points – Zinfandel Chronicles
95 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
94 Points – Owen Bargreen
Ripe cranberry and cassis on the nose. Focused dark bramble fruit on the palate, layered with cocoa and clove. Vibrant acidity balances beautifully with opulent fruit and carries through to a long and elegant finish. MB (1/22)
A warm spring followed by late rains disrupted fruit set. This resulted in lower yields and an early harvest that began the third week of August. The twenty-eight lots fermented separately on naturally present yeast. Of these, twenty were selected by taste for their exquisite fruit and balanced acidity. This is a classic Geyserville, enjoyable young and over the next ten or more years. JO (11/21)
This is Ridge’s 55th consecutive vintage of Geyserville. The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards on a single soil type, deposited by an ancient washout of the Russian River that carried river stone and gravel. It is approximately one and a quarter miles long and half a mile wide.
Rainfall: 18 inches (below normal)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Rains in March and April helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 21 August – 11 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.9˚
TA: 6.05 g/L
Fermentation: Full Crush, 100% floating cap. Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; daily pump-overs.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new, 15% one year-old, 20% two years-old, 25% three years-old, 15% four years-old and 5% five years-old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
Hand-harvested 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, 129 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.
Decanter: 96 Points “Enormously complex and full of personality. Lots of juiciness and briaryness, with notes of espresso, soy sauce and gaminess. Very rich, impressive and structured, 2020 was Ridge’s 55th consecutive vintage of Geyserville, a wine that many Ridge collectors consider the winery’s best Zinfandel blend. Its pedigree is uncontested. Made from old vines, some of which are more than 125 years old and 60% of which are 50 years old or older, leading of course to tiny yields. A historic field blend of approximately 69% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro (the old name used in California for Mourvedre). The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards, all of which are defined by an ancient washout of the Russian River that carried and deposited gravel and river stones to the site.” -Karen MacNeil (November 2022)
Wine & Spirits: 95 Points “The founding partners at Ridge purchased the Monte Bello Winery from Leo and Evelyn Trentadue, who also farmed some of the oldest surviving vines in Sonoma County at their ranch on the Alexander Valley floor near Geyserville. The Old Patch, planted in the 1880s, has provided the base of the blend for Ridge’s single-vineyard wine since 1966. In 2020, it was harvested just as the first fires broke out; generations of vines at the Trentadue’s ranch provided 28 different lots, with John Olney selecting 20 for this wine. He finds that carignan, which makes up 20 percent of the mixed planting (along with small amounts of petite sirah, alicante bouschet and mataro), provides the acidity to refresh the zinfandel, which accounts for 69 percent of the vines. The early harvest produced a ripe, rich Geyserville with racy energy. The dark blueberry flavors are layered with red cherry, their seemingly weightless concentration sustained in a sleek, clean and graceful impression that lasts. A great 2020.” -J.G. (June 2022)
Zinfandel Chronicles: 95 Points “Dark crimson in color. 14.1% ABV. 69% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah and a sprinkling of Alicante Bouschet and Mataro. Savory nose of red and black fruits, flowers and pepper. Medium to full bodied with exquisite acidity. Big, dark and brooding. Black cherry, blackberry, cocoa and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish with prominent, gritty tannins. Somewhat approachable now but this vintage of Geyserville will drink well for at least the next decade.” -Tom Lee (March 2022)
Blue Lifestyle: 95 Points “A luscious charming, blend of five varieties, mostly Zinfandel, Ultra smooth and seamless, with rich plum and blackberry flavors, a triumph of winemaking skill, long and stunning.” -Anthony Dias Blue (March 2022)
OwenBargreen.com: 94 Points “The 2020 ‘Geyserville’ blends mostly Zinfandel (69%) with the remainder Carignane and Petite Sirah, with a splash of Alicante Boushet and Mataro added. Needing an hour in the decanter to be fully expressive, the nose comes off very pretty with red roses and ripe raspberry with bramble undercurrents and shades of black plum that all dazzle in the glass. Silky tannins frame a core of bright red fruits with baking spices bergamot and suggestions of persimmon. Finishing long, this a truly outstanding effort that is already showing beautifully and will be sure to satisfy over the next ten to twelve years. Drink 2022-2034” -Owen Bargreen (March 2022)
Fine Wine Review: 93 Points “This is a most typical and attractive Geyserville with pure, spicy, dark fruits and a satiny texture that folds over solid structure with round tannins. There is some American oak here, but it is deftly used and is not dominating. The wine can be drunk already (I’d decant if doing so) and should be in top drinking form for at least a decade, probably substantially more.” -Claude Kolm (June 2022)
Wine Enthusiast: 90 Points “This hearty, full-bodied and lightly tannic blend of Zinfandel and several other traditional varieties offers tasty boysenberry and black plum flavors and light smoky, peppery accents on a rich texture. Seeming a bit less concentrated than the last two vintages, it’s still ripe, smooth and attractive.” -Jim Gordon
Average Rating: 91.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 56
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