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Ridge Geyserville 2016

Ridge Geyserville 2016

Availability: Out of stock

£40.75


"The 2016 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine is a real success this year, bursting from the glass with an exuberant bouquet of sweet cherries, blackberries and plums, with subtle hints of the licorice and spice to come with age, and a subtle framing of sweet new oak. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a lovely core of ripe, succulent fruit and beautifully fine-grained structuring tannins. The finish is long and pure. There are 23 different grape varieties co-planted in the Geyserville vineyard, but in 2016, Zinfandel dominates at 73%, followed by 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet. Drink: 2020-2033. 95 points

This was a great set of recent releases from Ridge, with the superb 2016 Geyserville standing out as a particular highlight. I've also included a few notes on barrel samples tasted at the Monte Bello winery. For my notes on the winery's flagship Bordeaux blend, Monte Bello, readers are directed to my extensive feature on that wine, also published in this issue. Ridge boasts as illustrious a history as any winery in California, but they certainly aren't resting on their laurels. Indeed, a persuasive case could be made that Ridge is currently producing the best wines they've ever made."

Wiliam Kelley, Wine Advocate (05/18)



In case you are not already familiar with Ridge's emblematic wines, the main production is red, focusing on Zinfandel. Way back in the early 1960s, they produced some of the first old-vine, single-vineyard Zinfandel to appear on the market: in fact, the philosophy of this estate owes a great deal to  European views of terroir and was, therefore, very forward-looking for California.

The contrast between Lytton Springs and Geyserville is marked and profound, especially considering that the vineyards are just one mile apart! Lytton is generally the more unyielding and tannic whereas Geyserville is succulent and approachable. This difference is down to terroir and the fact that Geyserville contains more Carignan in the blend, which contributes to the warm fruit quality. Lytton, on the other hand, although also predominantly Zinfandel, has a higher proportion of Petite Sirah. What is interesting too is the fact that Carignan does not flourish in the Lytton vineyard and never has done: the Geyserville vineyards, though further North, are warmer and this favours Carignan. The flagship wine, Monte Bello (produced from vines grown on the Monte Bello ridge (see above) - too cool for Zinfandel but perfect for the more architectural Bordeaux varieties) is a Bordeaux field blend with at least thirty parcels harvested and vinified separately before blending. 

Ridge's wines also epitomise the positive value of history, the importance of consistency and the constant search for improvement by the fine-tuning of the relationship between the art and science of winemaking. Paul Draper, the iconic CEO, has been making wine here since 1969 when he was invited to join by the four founders. Eric Baugher, who has a background in microbiology and biochemistry and who now oversees production, has been there since 1994. John Olney, who is responsible for Lytton Springs, joined in 1996 and David Gates, who is in charge of vineyard operations, in 1989. In January 1987, Ridge was sold to a Japanese pharmaceutical company, Otsuka, but, as Antonio Galloni said, the wines have gone from strength to strength and any change in financial control has not resulted in quality being compromised. On the contrary, these wines represent excellent value for money and we cannot recommend them highly enough.