Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The December Zinfandel of the Month is the 2018 Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Sonoma County.
I chose this wine as I want to continue to highlight widely available Zins from the acclaimed 2018 vintage.
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. John Olney is making the wines at Lytton Springs while Eric Baugher makes the wines at Monte Bello. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and a variety of 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.
Purple in color. 14.5% ABV. 70% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 12% Carignane and 4% Mataro. Savory nose of black fruits, plums, earth and pepper. Full bodied with medium acidity. Well balanced, Claret style Zinfandel. Black cherry, blackberry, baking spices and pepper on the palate. Medium length on the finish with discernable tannins. Hard to go wrong at $25 per bottle. Best over the next 2-3 years.
My rating: 91 points.
This wine is widely available at around $25 per bottle.
I wrote about Ridge previously in New Releases from Ridge Vineyards.