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Ridge Geyserville 2018

Ridge Geyserville 2018

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"The 2018 Geyserville is an infant. That much is obvious, especially in this lineup of otherwise more settled 2018s. Ripe Zinfandel flavors drive the overall profile. A blast of wild cherry, leather, tobacco, smoke, licorice, menthol and spice hit the palate first, followed by swaths of tannin and a touch of new oak that suggest the wine still needs time to come together. Readers should be in no rush. I am not sure the 2018 will ever be truly refined, as it is quite burly today. Aeration helps to some degree. The fermentations at Geyserville were slow to start and slow to finish. That longer time of extraction comes through in potent tannins that will likely always mark the wine. Drinking window: 2026-2033. 94+ points

I tasted more wines than ever at Ridge this year. Not that I am complaining, as this collection is jam-packed with fabulous wines that will delight Ridge fans. Mild weather with no heat spikes created conditions for even ripening in 2018. As I have already written previously, 2018 is an absolutely magical vintage for Sonoma County. The 2018 Zinfandel and Zinfandel-based wines are off the charts gorgeous, with a level of purity I am not sure I have seen before. In the Santa Cruz Mountains, 2018 yielded wines that are gracious and silky, but also a bit restrained. Ridge’s 2017s are shaping up to be magnificent. It was a cold, wet year for much of the growing season. Whereas some regions in California struggled under the Labor Day heat spikes, Ridge really needed that final burst of heat to get ripe. The 2017s, the reds in particular, are breathtaking. Lastly, the 2019 Monte Bello is a wonderfully suggestive wine. Will all the 2019s be as compelling?"

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/20)