Ridge Geyserville 2001
74% Zinfandel, 18% Carignan, 8% Petite Sirah. 14% alcohol. 25% new oak. Very dark. Solid coconut wood & very rich dark cherry nose. Big in the mouth, smooth, fine tannins. Fruit a little subdued by tannin and oak at the moment. Vg+
Ridge Geyserville 2000
66% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 17% Carignan. 14.5% alcohol. 25% new oak. Very Dark. Still quite oaky on the nose, with bitter cherries. On the palate more bitter cherries, less wood. Quite different tannin quality here: rougher, more burly and rustic. Still makes Vg+
68% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 16% Carignan. 14.5% alcohol. 25% new oak. Black. Very intense coconut & Morello cherry nose is very fine. Still very primary on the palate with cherry and tar, and fruit under quite firm, fine tannins. The best so far Vg+ to Ex . Voted flight winner.
75% Zinfandel. 14% alcohol. 23% new oak. Lighter. Cherry & more subdued coconut nose. On the palate it has lighter fruit, cherry, and not as concentrated as the others. Still Vg.
75% Zinfandel. 14.5% alcohol. Slightly lighter than previous wines?. A touch of Volatile Acidity, cherry & coconut on the nose. The palate is full, with fine fruit: sweet strawberry and cherry. Starting to show more development now, and lots of interest. Vg+ to Ex.
75% Zinfandel. 14.5% alcohol. 22% new oak. Cheesey feet? Tannins and dead fruit. Not rated - duff bottle.
62% Zinfandel. 14.5% alcohol. Still dark! Touch of brett, then cassis & cherry fruit on nose .Still quite tannic but there seems more of an acid kick here. Good fruit: cherry , but simpler than 1997 at the moment. Vg+ to Ex, and voted winner of flight.
68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignan, 8% Petite Sirah, 4% Mataro (Mourvedre). 14.3% alcohol. Dark. Quite poopy & leathery nose - stawberry fruit below. Slightly dried out - or is it just more brett? Fine tannins, still sweet fruit & some spice and interesting, but very bretty. Vg.
Ridge Geyserville 1992
Zinfandel-Carignan blend. 13.5% alcohol. Finally a slight fade to rim. Rich fruit, cherry & chocolate nose. Rich, dense fruit on palate with good chocolatey tannins. Really appealing sweet fruit here .Vg+ to Ex.
50% Zinfandel, 30% Carignan, 20% Petite Sirah. 13.5% alcohol. Touch of VA. Cool bramble fruit on the nose gives a very classy quality - not in your face. Sweet, big, spicy strawberry and bramble palate, with full smooth tannins. Long & fine. Ex, this was the flight winner by a big majority.
64% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 18% Carignan. 14% alcohol. This was dark. I felt it was overripe and a jammy on the nose. Fine tannins and a good finish, but an element of lollipop to the fruit - completely outclassed by 91 .Vg.
82% Zinfandel, 13% Carignan, 5% Petite Sirah. 13.9% alcohol. Funky nose, with leather & red fruits. Fine strawberry fuit on palate - fine tannins, a touch of heat on the finish. Vg+
88% Zinfandel, 8% Carignan, 4% Petite Sirah. 13.7% alcohol. Corked - very sad.
84% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignan. 13.2% alcohol. Still good colour.Touch of VA. The fruit seemed a little flat on the nose. Fine tannins & cherry on the palate - good balance and interest but a little tired? Vg.
85% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignan. 13.3% alcohol. Strange dried cherry /cough pastille nose. Good smoky fruit on palate - good, fine tannins and balance - long finish. Vg+ to Ex.
90% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah. 13.4% alcohol. Brett & cherry nose. Light red fruits on nose, though slightly faded & dried. Still very tannic. Good +
13.9% alcohol. Finally browning now. Some volatillity - but interesting spicy clove nose, with Christmas cake & fine spicy cherry and raisin fruit palate. Long and fine, and really drinking well now. Ex.
15.6% alcohol! Brown. Sous bois, mushroomy nose. Faded fruit; spicy chery. On downward slope - drink now - still rates a VG for interest.
Ridge Zinfandel Essence 1991
13.9% alcohol. Black. A vollatile, Porty nose - slightly oxidised? It has a real flavour to me of the LBV Port style, but it only saw a year in barrel. Medium body and sweet in style of an LBV, with brambly primary fruit and, dissapointingly, very lilttle development in 13 years! Good + (seemed expensive for the quality - cost more than most single quinta ports).
It is 10:36pm, and we have done it all in just over three and a half hours thanks to David's excellent organisation, and the restaurants level of service and timing.
The Ridge had really shown well. Good vintage variation, but a consistency of style - should the Terroir word be mentioned here? - and a lot of interest created by
the differing blend over the years. Some of these wines had a level of elegance about them (the 95, 91 and 74). They were also food friendly - I think many would have
shown better with food. The ageability is difficult to judge: the 74 was still drinking well, and the 91 was a real star for me, just hitting its stride. The young wines are massive,
but don't suffer from over-extraction/overconcentration. On this evidence they will mature well.
The other point is the value these wines represent: at around the £25 mark they put so many other Californian wines in the shade, and certainly maintain their iconic staus for me.
|When David Pope, one of the stalwart members of the UK Wine Forum recently put
together an astonishing vertical collection of the renowned "Geyserville" from Ridge Vineyards for tasting, I was very disappointed
not to be able to make it along. However when I heard that Stephen Pickles was making the journey from Scotland to London to attend, I asked him to document the event and
compile a report for publication on wine-pages. My thanks to Stephen (left) for this report.