Ridge Geyserville 2020  £48.50

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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 vineyards on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter miles long and a half-mile wide.

A warm spring followed by late rains disrupted fruit set. This resulted in lower yields and an early harvest that began the third week of August. The twenty-eight lots fermented separately on naturally present yeast. Of these, twenty were selected by taste for their exquisite fruit and balanced acidity. This is a classic Geyserville, enjoyable young and over the next ten or more years.

Ripe cranberry and cassis on the nose. Focused dark bramble fruit on the palate, layered with cocoa and clove. Vibrant acidity balances beautifully with opulent fruit and carries through to a long and elegant finish

69% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Mataro

Decanter: 96 Points 

“Enormously complex and full of personality. Lots of juiciness and briaryness, with notes of espresso, soy sauce and gaminess. Very rich, impressive and structured, 2020 was Ridge’s 55th consecutive vintage of Geyserville, a wine that many Ridge collectors consider the winery’s best Zinfandel blend. Its pedigree is uncontested. Made from old vines, some of which are more than 125 years old and 60% of which are 50 years old or older, leading of course to tiny yields. A historic field blend of approximately 69% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro (the old name used in California for Mourvedre). The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards, all of which are defined by an ancient washout of the Russian River that carried and deposited gravel and river stones to the site.”

Karen MacNeil (November 2022)

95 Points – Wine & Spirits
95 Points – Zinfandel Chronicles
95 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
94 Points – Owen Bargreen

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