Ridge @ Foxlow 9 October

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by George Marshall, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. D24753A9-1CC1-47C4-8022-9F944EDAEB64.jpeg A wonderful evening at Foxlow Soho last night, many thanks to Leon for arranging, and especially so to Mike Holliday for generously sharing gems from his cellar as buy ins and carting them to the restaurant. My guests and my brother had a brilliant time. Company and generosity much appreciated.

    No sensible thoughts on wines from me yet but all showed well and only frustration was trying to get the cork out of my 2002.
  2. Great evening indeed. Food, conversation and wine all lovely. The 06 Monte Bello Chardonnay really stuck out for me, as did the 1999 Lytton Springs and the 2013 York Creek Zinfandel.

    Foxlowe was great - the food went well with the wine and they looked after us nicely. By no means Trompette quality space or service but by no means Trompette pricing either.
    George Marshall likes this.
  3. This was a tremendous evening and Foxlow Soho, it's on Lower James Street off of Golden Square, did look after us well in spite of the fact that it was pretty busy in there and it would have easy to see a table of ten as more than a moderate pain in the arse. The food, it's a Steak restaurant, was all that it needed to be and taking along glasses is highly recommended for anything approaching the night we had. Thanks to Leon for the inspiration and perspiration required to bring all of this together and, as George has said, to Mike for dipping so deeply into his considerable cellar and allowing so many to buy-in.

    The 1999 Lytton Springs from Ben Halton was, as always if it's a good bottle, outstanding. For me the 2006 Monte Bello Chardonnay, 2013 Buchignani Ranch and the 2002 Lytton Springs ran it close as WOTN. The 2005 Lytton, from a magnum, was a little one dimensional and uninspiring and I still struggle to love the Geyserville, although the 1996 was by far the best of these I've had so maybe I just need to give them more time to come around to meet my palate.

    I fully expect to be back for another evening of Tuesday BYO fun very soon.
  4. Just for comparison here are the notes I wrote up in 2004 for a very generous offline set up by David Pope (prices still seem very reasonable for Geyserville) :

    David Pope had kindly arranged this offline tasting to go through wines he had collected, some bought at online auction and shipped from the USA. Geyserville is a field blend of Zin, Carignan, Petit Sirah and Mataro, with many of the vines over 100-years old. The first ever vintage was 1966, and this tasting would span 2001 back to 1970.

    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+

    Ridge Geyserville1999
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1998
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1997
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1996
    75% Zinfandel. 14.5% alcohol. 22% new oak. Cheesey feet? Tannins and dead fruit. Not rated - duff bottle.

    Ridge Geyserville1995
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1994
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1991
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1990
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1988
    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+

    Ridge Geyserville1987
    88% Zinfandel, 8% Carignan, 4% Petite Sirah. 13.7% alcohol. Corked - very sad.

    Ridge Geyserville1986
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1985
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1984
    90% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah. 13.4% alcohol. Brett & cherry nose. Light red fruits on nose, though slightly faded & dried. Still very tannic. Good +

    Ridge Geyserville1974
    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.

    Ridge Geyserville1970
    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 status for me.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
    Ray Queley and Leon Marks like this.
  5. Looks great.
    Will be a smaller gathering next Tuesday which I’m looking forward to. I’ve been surprised as to how much age they need, even the Zins.
    I opened a half of 2007 MB Cab Sav the other week and it’s wasnt ready. Should have known better.
  6. I found the younger wines far more interesting than I expected to. Certainly made me feel less bad about the infanticide I frequently commit on my Ridge club shipments. I normally am a sucker for age (and indeed as we discussed - in general believe that the cabernet based wines start to be fun after their first two decades) but while the wines can clearly handle age - I didn't get the sense that age improved them in the way that I find it does pretty much all other reds I love.
  7. It sounds like a great evening at the Foxlow. I wish I could have been there.

    Stephen, thanks for posting your notes of that Geyserville vertical I organised. It brought back some great memories!
    Leon Marks likes this.
  8. I agree with Don!

    Foxlow looked after us really well once one got over the shock of having to order your own food and pour your own wine.

    I enjoyed all the wines - pleasant surprise was the 2013 Buchignani Ranch which showed a bit of "Draper perfume" but was plush and juicy and very drinkable.

    Thanks to Leon and Mike too - a really enjoyable evening.
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  9. Stephen,
    That was my very first offline.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    I recall that my preferences that night were the wines with the lowest Zin percentage.
    Great evening.
    Leon Marks likes this.
  10. :D

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