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Ridge Geyserville 2017 £44.95
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility. At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard”, now referred to as the Perrone Ranch.
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site zinfandel every year since 1966. The grapes are grown in three adjoining parcels on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter miles long and a half-mile wide.
A wet winter gave us the much-needed rains. Cool-weather in the spring affected set across all varieties. Several heat spikes in late June, July and August saw temperatures over 105 degrees. Harvest started before the Labor Day heatwave hit; we quickly finished harvesting by mid-September.
Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested estate-grown grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; oak from barrel ageing; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 127 ppm throughout ageing); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Powerful winter storms replenished groundwater, bringing the drought to an end. However, they delayed bud-break, pushing bloom into late May. Early September heat was followed by cooler weather that slowed the pace of ripening. Twenty-four parcels were picked and fermented separately. Those showing strong vineyard character were chosen for this superb vintage. Enjoyable now, it will develop further complexity over the next fifteen years.
Dark ruby colour. Aromas of ripe black cherries and plum, sweet oak, mint, and gravel earth. Rich bramble fruit entry, round and supple tannins, refreshing acidity, and layered complex fruits in a long finish.
The Wine Advocate (May 2018): (93-95 Points).
“A first look at the 2017 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine revealed immense promise. Despite having been in barrel for a mere six months, it’s already offering up complex aromas of raspberries, blackberries and exotic spice. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, pure and succulent, with superb concentration, a lovely line of ripe acidity and a chalky, fine-grained finish. The wine attained 14.7% alcohol, and Baugher believes it will be one of the best renditions of Geyserville in a decade.” – William Kelley
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