Ridge Vineyards New Releases Spring 2011
By Kerry Winslow
Ridge is really making some of the most noteworthy wine for every palate, the Chardonnay is pure Grand Cru Burgundy class and is one of the best in the state, the Cabernet is like a first rate Bordeaux, but is all California, and this 2008 is even better than the 2007, crazy how Ridge can make better wines in vintages where some others might struggle, then again they have a remarkable site and terroir that is much different than any other! Then their classic California Zin blends, which always make for interesting and flavor packed wines, like the new Geyserville that has powerful fruit, but still has balance and vibrant flavors! Funny the Chardonnay has become the brightest star and has the potential to shine with other top Chards like Peter Michael, Aubert and Brewer-Clifton, and is a strong value.
2009 Ridge Vineyards Chardonnay Estate, Monte Bello Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
Just when you thought they could not get better Ridge surpasses expectations again with their Estate Chardonnay that has all the Monte Bello fruit this year. The 2009 Ridge Chard shows rich and focused flavors and layers with lemon curd, pear and peach while fig, butterscotch and hazelnut play in the background. Hints of brioche, toast and vanilla linger on the finish. Good acidity and a mineral streak give this beauty a real Burgundy feel and without question this wine will develop nicely over the next few years! I was told this was going to be the only Chard from the 2009 vintage, being that no “Monte Bello” Reserve bottling was made, so best to jump on this one while it is available.
($40 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive
2008 Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Monte Bello Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains.
This vintage has a much higher dose of pure Cabernet, 75% with less Merlot than the last few vintages at 20% plus tiny amounts of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, and it feels most gripping and intense than the last couple of years have, though it still has the refined finesse that Ridge is famous for. Still at about 13.5% Alcohol, this wine fills the mouth and gives lush black fruit notes with blackberry, plum and currants, while impressive Bordeaux like pencil lead, smoke and cedar come through in the background. This wine gets better and richer with air and has a touch of tobacco leaf, licorice and smoky sweet oak shadings that add complexity and depth. This wine is a steal at this price, don’t miss out!
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive
2009 Ridge Vineyards Geyserville (Zinfandel blend) Sonoma County.
This is a bigger and more vigorous red than recent vintages with sweet black raspberry, savory currant, plum and spiced cherry fruits with sweet and tangy mountain berries coating the palate. Good acidity and spiciness keeps everything in check here, all is vivid and full of energy and this wine should age well for a decade or more no problem. This vintage Geyserville is more of everything than has been the case in recent years, though it never steps over the edge to port or jammy it does have sweet fruit and leaves a creamy compote aftertaste. This Geyserville has over 70% Zinfandel, but the other black grapes add to the color and complexity making this an exciting and sexy wine. This is another classic from Ridge and it should drink great for the next decade and maybe beyond.
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive
Available through www.sfwtc.com