Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. Paul Draper recently retired and John Olney is making the wines at Lytton Springs and Eric Baugher at Monte Bello. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Rhone style wines.
When I first became interested in Zinfandel the buzz was always around the Three R’s of Zinfandel: Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. 25 years later Ridge is still at the top of its game, turning out single vineyard Zinfandel from some of California’s most precious vineyards.
Geyserville is a traditional field blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet and Mataro. Portions of the vineyard date back 130 years.
Purple in color. 14.6% ABV. 60% Zinfandel, 24% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah and 4% Mataro. Ripe nose of jammy red and black fruits, licorice and plums. Medium body with firm acidity. Well balanced. Straddles the line between Claret style and modern in style. Black cherry, raspberry liqueur, earth and pepper on the palate. The finish is long with discernible tannins. Delicious field blend that will drink well for another 3-5 years.
My rating: 91 points.
The entire Ridge lineup is mostly available at the winery and retail. Exceptional wines that are fairly priced and easy to find. There is so much to like here.
I wrote about Ridge recently in New Releases from Ridge Vineyards.