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Ridge Zinfandel

RIDGE Zinfandel

 Who am I to disagree with Eric Asimov and the top critics? But, actually, I don't. If you like zinfandel, Ridge is, if you have not done so, a winery to investigate. This winery is not one wine style fits all. You can choose almost exactly the terroir and process that interests you. If there was a time when California Zinfandel fell into disfavor and, lets be honest here, there was that time!!, Ridge reclaims the varietal's rightful place on bottle shop shelves!

Eric Asimov said this of zinfandel in his New York Times column, "The Pour" this week: "In California, zinfandel has had moments of wide embrace and others of dismissal. Its dominant stylistic expression seems to vary by decade and has ranged from clear, taut and spicy to extravagant, huge and syrupy. I'll admit I've had my own struggles with zinfandel. I'm not a fan of the blockbuster style that was in vogue in the first decade of this century. But as with so many wines, a stylistic shift has occurred with zinfandel, with more producers gravitating toward fresher, nuanced wines." Asimov recommends three wineries to consider, one of which is Ridge. He says "Ridge is consistently right down the middle as it has been for decades."

We have three Ridge zinfandels for your consideration:

Ridge Paso Robles, Dusi Ranch, 2010

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Varietal Information 
100% Zinfandel 
14.8% alcohol by volume 

90 pointsWine Spectator 
90 pointsWine Enthusiast

History

The Benito Dusi Ranch is the only vineyard in the Central Coast Viticultural Area from which we source grapes. Our Monte Bello vineyards are in the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Area which is not in the Central Coast. The 1967 vintage was our first wine from this vineyard. It was planted to zinfandel in 1922 which is unusual because Prohibition had started two years earlier. Purchased by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi in 1924, the property has been farmed since the 1940s by their son Benito, the owner. 

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 5 September - 16 October 
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5˚ 
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation. 100% submerged cap; pressed at ten days. 
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 7% two years old, 34% three and 34 % four years old) 
Aging: Eleven months in barrel 

Growing Season

Rainfall: 12 inches (below average) 
Bloom: Early May 
Weather: Almost ideal conditions, dry summer and fall. 

Winemaking

Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. A total of 1.3 percent rehydration (added to two of seven fermentors during fermentation). Minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 113ppm over the course of aging). Oak from barrel aging. Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions. 

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Aromas of ripe black cherry, plum, toasted oak, and caramel. Notes of mincemeat, plum, old-vine pepper spice on the palate with firm acid, defined tannins and an intense finish.

 

Ridge Geyserville 2012

 

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Varietal Information 
71% Zinfandel 
19% Carignane 
7% Petite Sirah 
2% Mataro (Mourvedre) 
1% Alicante Bouschet 
14.4% alcohol by volume


93 pointsStephen Tanzer 
93 pointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous

 

History

Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site zinfandel in 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. 

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 17 September - 17 October 
Grapes: Average brix 24.5˚ degrees 
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; 6 of the 27 tanks were fitted with submerged cap grids, both those and the tanks with a floating cap were given full pumpovers; pressed at 9 days. 
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (24% new, 25% one and two years old, 51% three and four years old.) 
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel 

Growing Season

Rainfall: 24 inches (below average) 
Bloom: Mid May 
Weather: Warm spring and a long, mild summer. 

Winemaking

All estate-grown, hand harvested grapes. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria. Six fresh egg whites per barrel to moderate the firm texture of tannins; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush; 164 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions. 

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Aromas of bramble fruit, wintergreen, licorice, and sweet toasted oak. Rich black cherry fruit on entry with elegant chalky tannins, gravel/rock, and ginger root. A layered, sensuous finish.

 

Ridge East Bench 2012

 

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Varietal Information 
100% Zinfandel 
14.9% alcohol by volume 

91 pointsStephen Tanzer 
91 pointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous

 

History

Ridge has made the East Bench as a single-site zinfandel since 2006. One of only two Ridge zinfandels that is entirely from the single varietal. The vineyard sits high atop the bench land that overlooks Dry Creek Valley from the east. 

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 25 September – 1 October 
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1˚ 
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; twice daily pump-overs; pressed at nine days. 
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two years old, 40% three and four years old.) 
Aging: Twelve months in barrel 

Growing Season

Rainfall: 24 inches (below average) 
Bloom: Mid May 
Weather: Warm spring and a long, warm summer. 

Winemaking

All estate-grown, hand harvested grapes. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.3 g/L tartaric acid; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 83 ppm during aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions. 

Winemaker Tasting Notes

A nose of rich raspberry and pepper accompanied by floral and mineral notes. The palate is layered with dark cherry and black currant fruit, mineral, and cocoa. Balanced acidity with fine tannins on the finish.

Lilith Poggio Anima Basilicata Primitivo 2012
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