Ridge is an iconic brand that’s hard to sum up in just a few quick sentences. They are constant critical darlings and have been on the top of just about every list you can imagine for well over 50 years. Maybe they are most well known for winning the second enactment of the 1972 Judgement of Paris where their Monte Bello not only edged out the Napa Elite but also topped Mouton, Montrose, & Haut-Brion.
The lesser told story about Ridge is probably the most important– the one that the winery can credit with propelling it to an entirely new level of prestige and that is the story of adopting a second pitch. Everyone needs at least two great pitches to be a Hall-of Famer… except of course for Mariana Rivera!
Up until 1964, the winery had spent it’s first 75 years only making Cabernet. The Cabs were really good– high acid, mountain Cab fruit. But it wasn’t until 1964 when Ridge would make their first Zinfandel, that the winery finally adopted a ‘2nd pitch’ ala Nolan Ryan’s devastating curveball after a fury of lethal fastballs.
By 1966, Ridge’s Zinfandel success had catapulted the brand into the stratosphere and they decided to make two very important steps. First, they expanded their search for the absolute ideal spot in the state for Zinfandel. That led them to an amazing discovery – ancient Zinfandel vines planted in 1882 in the coastal breeze blessed, sun-kissed Sonoma Coast. These grow on gnarled trunks – the size of a tree – naturally limiting yields. The second was the decision to hire Paul Draper to run the winemaking team. Those decisions made all the difference.
Today, those old-vines are over 130 years old, a tremendous asset when crafting one of the best red blends in the country. At their disposal, an embarrassment of riches– Geyserville has 23 different co-planted varietals for the winemakers at Ridge to choose from each vintage.
The 2017 Ridge Geyserville is one of the best Proprietary Blends coming from the Estate in the last quarter century. A layered succession of fresh fruits with cherries, plums, raspberries and blackberries. Medium to full-bodied with a mouthful of elegance- silky smooth tannins that show structure and age-worthiness and a finish that is as long as it is pleasant.
94 Points and rave review from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. $45 on release at the winery. Just $39/btl today at Nicholas Wines. Mix and match or add a full case and enjoy this wine at the best price per bottle in the country.
Out of stock
94 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2017 Geyserville is a blend of 68% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet, aged 14 months in American oak, 16% new. Medium ruby, it opens with lilac, chocolate box and stone fruit hints with warm blackcurrants, red and black cherries, cranberries, cedar, tobacco leaf and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, it opens slowly in the mouth to pure fruits supported by fine, chalky tannins and integrated freshness on the very long finish. This is wound tight but has loads of potential and will require at least another few years in bottle.