Showing all 10 results

  • Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2019

    £57.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Ridge Geyserville 2017

    £43.99

    “The 2017 Geyserville is a blend of 68% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet, aged 14 months in American oak, 16% new. Medium ruby, it opens with lilac, chocolate box and stone fruit hints with warm blackcurrants, red and black cherries, cranberries, cedar, tobacco leaf and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, it opens slowly in the mouth to pure fruits supported by fine, chalky tannins and integrated freshness on the very long finish. This is wound tight but has loads of potential and will require at least another few years in bottle. Drink: 2022-2040. 94 points

    Eric Baugher says winter rains saved the vines during the heat wave in 2017. “It was a wetter year,” he remembers, “and the vines had a chance to use those water resources through the growing season. So it was a slower, more steady progression toward ripeness. It got hot during Labor Day, but the vines got through fine because there was so much water in the soil.” Alcohols were a bit lower this vintage, and Baugher has been focused on bringing down overall levels. “We’ve been disciplined about picking earlier,” he comments, noting that in 2017 most of the fruit was off the vine before the heat. “By Labor Day all the fruit at Geyserville was in,” he says. “Carignan and Petite Sirah came in after the heat but didn’t show signs of over-ripening. Carignan thrives in the heat and isn’t susceptible to shrivel, so every drop went into the Geyserville blend this year.”

    Baugher is optimistic about quality in 2018. “In 2018 we slipped back to drought. There was no rain in January or February at all. It was unusually dry, and we were pushing budbreak. Then it got really cold in March and April, and things stalled out again. The summer was nice with even temperatures, no heat spikes. We ended up with good weather at bloom and about average yields.” Uniform ripeness was a hallmark of the vintage for Baugher. “2018 had much more uniform ripening, which leads to a more complete, sensuous expression,” he says. “The Zinfandels have deep flavors and a quality of tannins I don’t see every year with that grape. They are just woven in with the fruit, creating a complete wine with great length and great vineyard expression as well. All the 2018s speak of place, and it’s a trick to get that to happen with Zinfandel. It has the tendency to overripen, and that puts a lid on vineyard expression. 2013 is another great example of a perfectly ripe vintage. It happens twice a decade, if we’re lucky.”

    Baugher is excited about the 2018 Monte Bello, which I tasted from barrel. “For me, great vintages of Monte Bello are when all four varieties are included,” he explains. “There are 45 plots within Monte Bello. We grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, in that order. They’re fermented and go to barrel separately. For blending, everything is tasted blind. We’re looking at aromatics, texture and complexity, not grape variety. We look at the grape percentages after assemblage is finished. The years that are special are the years all four grapes make it into the blend, because the conditions in the vineyard have to be perfect.” The 2018 is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Petite Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. While still very primary, it’s showing plenty of nuance and complexity already, and I look forward to tasting it again from bottle.”

    Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate (02/20)

    In Stock

  • Ridge Geyserville 2019

    £39.99

    Review to follow

     

    In Stock

  • Ridge Lytton Estate Petite Sirah 2018

    £38.99

    “The 2018 Lytton Estate Petite Sirah is totally stunning. Bright, focused and powerful, the 2018 presents a breathtaking interplay of rich Petite fruit allied to a classic, old-school sense of structure. Dark blue/purplish fruit, leather, licorice, lavender, menthol and gravel are some of the many notes that infuse the 2018 with all those layers of flavor. The 2018 is a real stunner. Drinking window: 2026-2038. 96 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)

    In Stock

  • Ridge Lytton Springs 2019

    £39.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Ridge Monte Bello Chardonnay 2018

    £99.95

    “Pale gold with a hint of green. Smells of pure and bright lemon curd with a hint of melted butter. Rich melted butter and lemon curd mix with a touch of butterscotch and bergamot. Excellent acidity and silky texture. Rich but not heavy, this is classic Californian Chardonnay at its best, without a heavy wood influence despite barrel fermentation and sur-lie ageing for 15 months. Drink: 2020-2026. 17.5 points”

    Alder Yarrow, Wine Advocate (01/21)

    In Stock

  • Varner Hidden Block Pinot Noir 2013

    £47.99

    “The 2013 Pinot Noir Hidden Block is a very pretty, lifted wine. Sweet red cherry, mint and floral notes grace the palate in an understated, surprisingly gracious Pinot from the Varner brothers. The Hidden Block is one of the more delicate, acid-driven Pinots I have tasted from Varner. This is the first block that is picked, which likely contributes to the wine’s laid-back personality and expressive aromatics. Drink: 2017-2024. 93 points

    I have to admit, my most recent tasting with Bob and Jim Varner was bittersweet. The Varners have ended their collaboration with the Neely family, so the 2013s are the last wines the Varners made in the Santa Cruz Mountains. That is a real loss to the region and the wine world more broadly, as the Varners made stunning Chardonnays and Pinots from these sites. The Varners have moved to Santa Barbara County, where they are making a new Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the El Camino and Los Alamos vineyards respectively. Both wines deliver superb quality for the money. The Santa Cruz Moutains wines remain reference points for what is possible in these mountain terroirs; namely rich, phenolic Chardonnays and intense Pinots.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/16)

    In Stock

  • Varner Three Blocks Pinot Noir 2014

    £47.99

    “Gracious, elegant and absolutely impeccable in its balance, the 2014 Pinot Noir Three Blocks is terrific. The blend of vineyard sites works especially well in yielding a wine that is wonderfully complete. Sweet red cherry, tobacco and rose petal notes give the 2014 its bright, energetic feel. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2014 also packs a serious punch. In other words, there is a lot of wine here. Drinking window: 2018-2026. 94 points

    These 2014 Pinots are the last wines brothers Bob and Jim Varner made from Spring Ridge Vineyard before shifting their focus to Santa Barbara. As always, the Varner Pinots are both distinctive and highly expressive of site. The Three Blocks Pinot is the same wine that was previously labeled as the Neely Pinot when the Varners worked in collaboration with Kirk Neely and Holly Myers, who own Spring Ridge Vineyard. Starting with the 2015 vintage, these four Pinots all appear under the Neely label.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/18)

    In Stock

  • Varner Upper Picnic Block Pinot Noir 2013

    £47.99

    “The 2013 Pinot Noir Upper Picnic is endowed with a real sense of explosive energy that elevates it in this range. The flavors are dark and intense throughout, but it is the wine’s center and overall depth that are most compelling at this stage. Still quite primary, the Upper Picnic could use a few years in bottle to enter the sweet spot. The Upper Picnic offers a compelling interplay of intensity and freshness. These own-rooted vines were planted in 1981. Drink: 2018-2025. 94 points

    I have to admit, my most recent tasting with Bob and Jim Varner was bittersweet. The Varners have ended their collaboration with the Neely family, so the 2013s are the last wines the Varners made in the Santa Cruz Mountains. That is a real loss to the region and the wine world more broadly, as the Varners made stunning Chardonnays and Pinots from these sites. The Varners have moved to Santa Barbara County, where they are making a new Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the El Camino and Los Alamos vineyards respectively. Both wines deliver superb quality for the money. The Santa Cruz Moutains wines remain reference points for what is possible in these mountain terroirs; namely rich, phenolic Chardonnays and intense Pinots.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/16)

    In Stock

  • Varner Upper Picnic Block Pinot Noir 2014

    £47.99

    “The 2014 Pinot Noir Upper Picnic is all class. Silky tannins and expressive, perfumed aromatics give the wine unreal finesse. Just as compelling on the palate, the 2014 is absolutely exquisite in its understated, nuanced expression of the Santa Cruz Mountains. What a gorgeous wine it is. The Upper Picnic is the most elegant of these four Pinots. Drink: 2018-2026. 95 points

    These 2014 Pinots are the last wines brothers Bob and Jim Varner made from Spring Ridge Vineyard before shifting their focus to Santa Barbara. As always, the Varner Pinots are both distinctive and highly expressive of site. The Three Blocks Pinot is the same wine that was previously labeled as the Neely Pinot when the Varners worked in collaboration with Kirk Neely and Holly Myers, who own Spring Ridge Vineyard. Starting with the 2015 vintage, these four Pinots all appear under the Neely label.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/18)

    In Stock