Ridge Vineyards, Geyserville, 2019, Alexander Valley, Sonoma, USA
Often thought of as a pure Zinfandel, the Geyserville is actually a red blend, providing welcome complexity on the nose and palate. This wine is highly regarded around the world and the 2019 is Ridge’s 54th consecutive Geyserville vintage.
The 2019 is ready to drink now for those who can't wait but will also develop over the next 15 years or so for those with patience.
The history of Geyserville cannot be told without mentioning the Trentadue family. Leo and Evelyn Trentadue sold the Monte Bello Winery to the four founding partners of Ridge, and the founders purchased fruit from the oldest vines on the Trentadue’s Sonoma ranch on the southern edge of the Geyserville township. From that purchase, the first vintage of Ridge Geyserville was born and the close relationship with the Trentadues continues to this day.
Geyserville is home to the oldest vines at Ridge, the “Old Patch” section of the vineyard contains vines that are more than 130 years of age. Old vines contribute an intensity and complexity of flavour to the wine that cannot be replicated by any other method.
From a climate perspective, warm days ideal for ripening fruit give way to frequent evening breezes and occasional morning fog to give the vines time to rest. The soil is made up of deep gravelly loam mixed with larger river rocks, which were deposited by an ancient river that once flowed through the land. This combination not only permits excellent drainage while also allowing the soil to retain heat when necessary, it imparts a distinctive mineral quality to the wine. These attributes, combined with the vineyard’s position three miles south of Geyserville, on the western edge of Alexander Valley creates a perfect growing site for zinfandel and its complementary varieties.
This year’s long, wet winter, and a mild summer, delayed harvest by two weeks. Of the forty-three fermented lots, Ridge selected thirty-two for this superb Geyserville character. The hand-harvest took place between 16 September – 8 October and following fermentation the wine spent 12 months ageing in 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new, 2% one year-old, 22% two years-old, 25% three years-old, and 22% four years-old and 9% five years-old).
Dark garnet red with classic Geyserville nose of ripe black cherry and plum, gravel, wintergreen, and beautiful oak spice. Deep and sensuously layered with polished tannins, river-rock minerality, and a long finish.
Geyserville, Alexander Valley
71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignan, 7% Petit Syrah, 3% Alicante Bouschet
What the critics say:
94 Points: James Suckling (Jamessuckling.com)
"A beautiful red with lots of blackberries, cloves, stone, spice and purple fruit. It’s full and balanced with a creamy texture and a flavorful finish. Some graphite to the black fruit. More zin this year in the blend. 71% zinfandel, 19% carignan, 7% petite sirah and 3% alicante bouschet. Drink now.”