Zinfandel of the Month is a new feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. For a little background please see the first installment published six months ago. 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 April Zinfandel of the Month is the 2011 Ridge Geyserville.
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. Since 1969 Ridge’s winemaker, and now also its CEO, has been Paul Draper. 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. 20 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.
Crimson in color. 14% ABV. The 2011 Geyserville is 78% Zinfandel, 16% Carignane, 4% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro. Brambly red fruits, pepper, vanilla and lavender on the nose. Medium bodied with nice acidity. Blackberry, raspberry, licorice, menthol and tar on the palate. Chalky, dusty tannins. Perfectly balanced, this wine is approachable now but will no doubt age for upwards of a decade.
My rating: 93 points.
The 2011 Geyserville is still available at retail and is a super buy for $35 or less.
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