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 Head Winemaker at Ridge.
Ridge recently sent me samples of their new releases. All of these wines were released on 4/1/21.
2019 Ridge Geyserville – Purple in color. 14.5% ABV. 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet. Fantastic nose of red fruits, anise and pepper. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Concentrated and powerful with tremendous purity of fruit. Big and burly. Raspberry, cherry, tobacco and pepper on the palate. The finish is long with prominent tannins. This will need some time in the cellar. Best over the next decade or so. $45 at the winery and retail. My rating: 95 points.
2019 Ridge Zinfandel Paso Robles – Dark crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. 100% Zinfandel from Benito Dusi Ranch in Paso Robles. Sublime nose of bright red fruits, licorice and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Fresh and vibrant. Raspberry compote, black cherry, iron and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Delicious, compelling and easy to drink. Best over the next 2-4 years. $35 at the winery and retail. My rating: 93 points.
2019 Ridge Zinfandel East Bench – Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. 100% Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. Perfumed nose of red fruits, plums and pepper. Medium body with perfect acidity. Lush and rich with bright red fruits in spades. Strawberry, raspberry liqueur, earth and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. The best vintage of East Bench that I can remember. Brilliant Zinfandel. Best over the next 3-5 years. $32 at the winery and retail. My rating: 94 points.
The entire Ridge lineup is available at the winery and for the most part at retail as well. Exceptional wines that are fairly priced, well crafted and easy to find. Everyone is always looking for the latest and greatest when it comes to wine. Sometimes it pays to stick with the tried and true. There is so much to like here.