Which RIDGE are you drinking?

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Glenn L e v i n e
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Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#401 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » September 24th, 2017, 10:16 am

1991 Ridge Paso Robles Zin in fine form yesterday. Opened easily, cork almost slid out and I was scared. Old wine smell at first but wine kept getting better over the 2 hours it was enjoyed. The color was medium red with some darker highlights. Dense plumbs and dark cherries both easily discerned and the mouthfeel was good, not thin at all. No real tannins left any longer. Serious lengthy finish appreciated.

Perhaps a half-tier below the greatest Ridge Zins we have ever enjoyed.
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#402 Post by M. Dildine » September 24th, 2017, 1:32 pm

We were in Hawaii for two weeks. I had a case and a half of Ridge shipped out there - Estate Merlot, Perrone Merlot, Pagani Ranch, Paso. But mainly a couple of recent releases - 5 bottles each of '15 Lytton and Geyserville. The amazing thing is I never tired of any of these wines. Ridge is on a roll!
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Howard Cooper
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#403 Post by Howard Cooper » September 24th, 2017, 3:19 pm

Brought the 2014 Three Valleys "Zinfandel" to a friends for dinner a few days ago. Very nice $23 wine. Big hit.
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#404 Post by Scott Stewart » September 30th, 2017, 5:46 pm

The 2009 Estate Merlot was drinking nicely this week.

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#405 Post by Jonathan Essner » October 1st, 2017, 8:50 pm

2012 Ridge Estate Cabernet last night with pork belly, roasted chicken, fettuccine. It was outstanding. Loved every sip.

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Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
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#406 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » October 7th, 2017, 6:19 am

  • 2013 Ridge Lytton Springs - USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (10/6/2017)
    Sadly, not as good as the last bottle, mainly due to the heat. Lots of alcohol on this wine that I didn’t detect in the last bottle. After this was in the glass an hour or so, the heat started to let up, so suggest decanting. Red berries and well knit, but that pesky alcohol... I’ll wait a year or so on my next bottle. Recommend holding or at least decanting a few hours before opening. (90 pts.)
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Ed Steinway
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#407 Post by Ed Steinway » October 22nd, 2017, 12:56 pm

We had the 2014 Torre Cab last night. Fantastic for such a young wine. It is a beautifully balanced wine.

Thanks,
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Neal.Mollen
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#408 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 22nd, 2017, 1:18 pm

Ed Steinway wrote:We had the 2014 Torre Cab last night. Fantastic for such a young wine. It is a beautifully balanced wine.

Thanks,
Ed
Thanks for this Ed. I have been reluctant to open one, figuring it would be punishingly tannic
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Ed Steinway
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#409 Post by Ed Steinway » October 22nd, 2017, 1:25 pm

Neal Mollen wrote:
Thanks for this Ed. I have been reluctant to open one, figuring it would be punishingly tannic
You are welcome, Neal. My wife wanted to try one to see if we should purchase more. We did. :) It will certainly benefit from some cellar time, but it is really drinking well already, as long as it has some time to open up.

Thanks,
Ed

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#410 Post by Craig G » October 22nd, 2017, 4:23 pm

I took a 2009 Ridge Carmichael Zin to a friend's birthday party last week. It was sucked down before I could pour myself a glass, but I took a sip from her glass and thought it might be among the very best Zins I've ever had from them, including all the Geyservilles and LS.
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John Davis
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#411 Post by John Davis » October 30th, 2017, 1:07 pm

84 Monte Bello last night with a roast was fantastic. Tannin resolving but still had a youthful core. Ready to drink but there is no rush. Solid "A" wine for me.

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#412 Post by TimF » March 13th, 2018, 11:34 am

Just saw the general offer for "2014 Lytton East Hills". Looks like ATP members got it last month. Anyone try it yet?
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#413 Post by Wes Barton » March 13th, 2018, 4:17 pm

Maybe 20 wines at our Components Tasting picnic. Highlights include:
'77 York Creek Zin LP
'79 York Creek PS
'93 York Creek PS
'00 Jimsomare Zin
'01 Jimsomare Zin
'94 Monte Bello
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Ed Steinway
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#414 Post by Ed Steinway » March 25th, 2018, 11:42 am

We went up to Healdsburg yesterday and there was a gentleman there who opened a 1965 Ridge California Cabernet for the tasting room personnel. He graciously offered us a sample. It was fun to see the bottle and taste the wine! The back of the bottle had some comments from Dave Bennion. Very cool!!

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Ed

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Rich Brown
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#415 Post by Rich Brown » March 25th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Ed Steinway wrote:We went up to Healdsburg yesterday and there was a gentleman there who opened a 1965 Ridge California Cabernet for the tasting room personnel. He graciously offered us a sample. It was fun to see the bottle and taste the wine! The back of the bottle had some comments from Dave Bennion. Very cool!!

Thanks,
Ed
Don't make us beg! How was the wine?? ;)

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#416 Post by dteng » March 25th, 2018, 1:38 pm

Newly arrived Monte Bello...on deck...
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Neal.Mollen
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#417 Post by Neal.Mollen » March 25th, 2018, 1:50 pm

dteng wrote:Newly arrived Monte Bello...on deck...
Damn, bro! Did the note on the back say "best after 4:30?" Mine got buried as soon as they made it into the cellar
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Ed Steinway
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#418 Post by Ed Steinway » March 25th, 2018, 1:51 pm

Rich Brown wrote:
Don't make us beg! How was the wine?? ;)
It was very good! The nose was like walking into a cedar closet. I have never had a 50+ year old bottle of Ridge, so I don't really know what to compare it to. It was a treat to taste and I really respect the gentleman who brought it up.

Thanks,
Ed

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#419 Post by Mark C Johnson » March 25th, 2018, 1:55 pm

Last night's 2005 Nervo was a head turner. Beautifully balanced, great perfume, brambly berry flavored, it went very well with the Instant Pot shortribs.

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Rich Brown
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#420 Post by Rich Brown » March 25th, 2018, 3:52 pm

Ed Steinway wrote:
Rich Brown wrote:
Don't make us beg! How was the wine?? ;)
It was very good! The nose was like walking into a cedar closet. I have never had a 50+ year old bottle of Ridge, so I don't really know what to compare it to. It was a treat to taste and I really respect the gentleman who brought it up.

Thanks,
Ed
Awesome Ed. What a cool experience! Thanks for posting!

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#421 Post by Jeff Cassetta » March 25th, 2018, 5:33 pm

I had lost my 2010 Monte Bello Chards in the cellar, but now they're found. Great Chard at peak! Fantastic mouthfeel with a hint of mineralality, mature but no butterscotch...drink them if you got-em within the next couple of years...

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#422 Post by dteng » March 25th, 2018, 5:36 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
dteng wrote:Newly arrived Monte Bello...on deck...
Damn, bro! Did the note on the back say "best after 4:30?" Mine got buried as soon as they made it into the cellar
Sacrifice one for science and reference...then sleep the remaining 5...no? (Bro?)
Dan

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#423 Post by Neal.Mollen » March 25th, 2018, 5:53 pm

dteng wrote:
Neal.Mollen wrote:
dteng wrote:Newly arrived Monte Bello...on deck...
Damn, bro! Did the note on the back say "best after 4:30?" Mine got buried as soon as they made it into the cellar
Sacrifice one for science and reference...then sleep the remaining 5...no? (Bro?)
So post a note!
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#424 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 26th, 2018, 5:03 am

Popped the 2010 Geyserville last week. Show a bit too opulently on day one, especially the American oak, but day two settled into a more balance, lovely wine. On day one, I would not have bought more; day two, this wine really was singing.

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#425 Post by Rich Brown » August 28th, 2018, 7:41 pm

Bump

2014 Geyserville. LOVED this shortly after release, and while it's still good, it seems a bit more brooding and the oak stands out more. Way more integrated on day 2. This wine has a LONG life ahead of it, and I probably wont touch another for at least a handful of years.




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#426 Post by TimF » September 1st, 2018, 1:34 pm

If you could open any Monte Bello from 2007 to 2014 tonight, which would you drink?
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#427 Post by AlexS » September 1st, 2018, 2:46 pm

2014, go for the youngest and hope it's open for business. Otherwise, no clue other than to add that I would have decanted since yesterday, regardless of vintage...young MB can just be so tight & unforgiving.
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#428 Post by Hank Victor » September 1st, 2018, 3:48 pm

I had a taste of 2014 and 2015 MB at Ridge Lytton Springs last weekend. Very tight but you just feel how good this wine will be down the line.

Bought 2016 Zins (Paso, Hooker, and East Bench)
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#429 Post by Wes Barton » September 1st, 2018, 9:59 pm

TimF wrote:
September 1st, 2018, 1:34 pm
If you could open any Monte Bello from 2007 to 2014 tonight, which would you drink?
Shot in the dark, but I'd go for the '07. It was the lightest in body on release by quite a bit (though put on weight since). It did seem to be opening up last time I had it. Don't have recent benchmarks on most. The '14 might be shut down by now. So, '07 isn't just the oldest, but should have the relatively earliest drinking window. (But it's probably to early. Some vintages can surprise you. The '04 from mag was spectacular back in March.)
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#430 Post by TimF » September 2nd, 2018, 5:29 am

I did end up going for the 2007 as I discovered I had twice as many bottles of it than the 2008. It was very good. I feel like it needs another ten years. My wife disagreed, thinking it was perfect right now. The nose on it was spectacular. Very floral which I sometimes don’t love but this was an exception.
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#431 Post by J Dove » September 2nd, 2018, 5:50 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
August 23rd, 2017, 8:03 am
Jeff Vaughan wrote:
Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:This.

I buy case-plus every year, sometimes two, of Ridge. Never buy Monte Bello. Like it, but not worth the fare to me. Not even close. Ridge is my favorite California winery and the only one that I buy from every year. Happily buy the Estate Cab over the MB. At that price point, I go Bordeaux all day long for my Cab or Cab-blend fix.

Geezer and Lytton are also total crowd pleaser wines that can be consumed young, old, often, zero regrets. I bought the 2015 for $30, that's a major QPR.
Robert, I struggle to understand how you can be such a Ridge fan, but then hate modern styled Bordeaux. To me, and my Bordeaux experience is much less than yours, the Ridge is so much more fruit driven and ripe than the modern left bank Bordeaux I have tried. Right bank, I get it. I can't drink most of them either.
Fair question, but not a fair comparison, IMHO. While we sometimes hear mature Geyserville starts to resemble claret with 20+ years on it, I still think that's a glossy point. it may resemble it in the way that it picks up ancillary and tertiary characteristics, and ages well, but it is still Zinfandel. It does not taste like Bordeaux. I love the grape (Zin) when it is done right. Yes, it is higher alcohol and can be sweeter than Bordeaux, but it also has a spice and pepper note, a wild bramble, and a depth of ripe fruit to carry the alcohol exceedingly well. Ridge makes Zins and field blends that are true to the grapes. I do not like modern Bordeaux because they are manufacturing a product that is not true to the grape, pushing the ripeness envelope, alcohol, manipulation and overkill on new oak for many vineyards than cannot handle it. The modern estates kill their terroir and produce a universal product that many times tastes like it could have come from anywhere.

I have often noted that Ridge is my guilty pleasure. I have also criticized Ridge for using American oak and starting to ramp up use of more new oak in its wines. I have stopped buying Lytton in many years, and am lamenting the increase of new oak in the 2014 Ridge Estate Cab, so may buy one to try and go from their. Geezer still works very well for my palate. Love to pop it on a whim with something grilled, with take-out, with pizza, fun stuff. It's a pleasurable drink, one that can have a cerebral side to it as well if you wish to engage.

I have a long history with this winery, perhaps some sentimentality remains, but the Geezer still shines.

I tasted the 2015 Giscours earlier this week and consciously felt it was a totally spoofed wine as I was drinking it. With respect to Neal's comment on our inconsistencies... despite feeling it wasn't among the most authentic wines I've had, I really liked it a good bit and bought some more -- and, Ridge Zins are a guilty pleasure of mine too. My local shop has them keenly priced and I think this post is sufficiently enabling that I will head out and grab a few more today.
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#432 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 2nd, 2018, 7:37 am

PS. I drank a 2014 Ridge Geyserville this past week that did not show too well, and last night a 2015 that was glorious - fresher, more red fruits and good acid, less pronounced oak. A beauty.

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#433 Post by AlexS » September 2nd, 2018, 12:10 pm

Rich & Bobby -

Crazy to hear about the 2014 Geezer, that wine floored me on release, far more than the 2015 -- do you guys think it's just closed or did it peak young?
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#434 Post by Rich Brown » September 2nd, 2018, 12:34 pm

AlexS wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 12:10 pm
Rich & Bobby -

Crazy to hear about the 2014 Geezer, that wine floored me on release, far more than the 2015 -- do you guys think it's just closed or did it peak young?
As usual, i'm totally with you buddy. Absolutely loved the 14 shortly after release and popped it because I wanted a Ridge and considered it to be a 'sure thing'. The oak was super prominent, to the point where it was almost overpowering (and I'm probably not as sensitive to oak as Alfert). I got the impression it was just shut down or in a kinda awkward phase, and that it would probbaly be much better years down the road. I'm betting on the 14 aging well for a long, long time.

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#435 Post by AlexS » September 2nd, 2018, 12:59 pm

Thx man, appreciate it. Sounds like it's time to forget about the couple bottles I have of it.
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#436 Post by Sean Devaney » September 4th, 2018, 8:25 am

Agree that the 14 Geezer is shutting down. Set it aside for 5+ years. I am looking forward to trying the 14 and 15 together at some time down the road.

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#437 Post by AlexS » September 7th, 2018, 5:00 pm

2016 Geyserville

Wow, this is just...wow. Tastes & smells like classic Geezer fruit but easily the most transparent example I've ever tasted -- absolutely crystalline. It's hard to explain how lightweight the 2016 is for Geyserville yet still so entirely filled with pronounced flavors...almost reminds me of something Piemontese, like a young Gattinara. Most remarkable? The oak is utterly refrained, more so than any other young Ridge I've ever tasted (Alfert -- take note!!!) and wtf -- where did this soaring impression of minerals come from?? Must keep tasting...because science.

Not sure if this speaks to the vintage, Ridge's evolving style or both -- regardless, count me in as an enthusiastic fan!
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#438 Post by Rich Brown » September 7th, 2018, 6:17 pm

AlexS wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 5:00 pm
2016 Geyserville

Wow, this is just...wow. Tastes & smells like classic Geezer fruit but easily the most transparent example I've ever tasted -- absolutely crystalline. It's hard to explain how lightweight the 2016 is for Geyserville yet still so entirely filled with pronounced flavors...almost reminds me of something Piemontese, like a young Gattinara. Most remarkable? The oak is utterly refrained, more so than any other young Ridge I've ever tasted (Alfert -- take note!!!) and wtf -- where did this soaring impression of minerals come from?? Must keep tasting...because science.

Not sure if this speaks to the vintage, Ridge's evolving style or both -- regardless, count me in as an enthusiastic fan!
Nice man - killer note as always!

I haven't seen the 16's here yet in AZ, but I'll definitely be picking some up when I do. I'd say Ridge is on a roll lately.....but I guess you could have been saying that for the past 50+ years.

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#439 Post by Vikrant Rachakonda » September 9th, 2018, 3:56 pm

Ridge 2014 Estate Chardonnay. This had some good stone fruit on the nose, but this was obscured by quite a bit of oak/vanilla. Sweet and almost over-ripe on the palate. Enjoyable now, but not something for long-term aging.

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#440 Post by Wes Barton » September 9th, 2018, 7:40 pm

Vikrant Rachakonda wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 3:56 pm
Ridge 2014 Estate Chardonnay. This had some good stone fruit on the nose, but this was obscured by quite a bit of oak/vanilla. Sweet and almost over-ripe on the palate. Enjoyable now, but not something for long-term aging.
Hope you don't mind a little constructive criticism. It's the oak aromas that make it smell like it's sweet and give the impression of ripeness. But, you can't smell sweet. The fruit is just clean and concentrated, so it's boldness in conjunction with the illusion of sweetness lead you to the false conclusion of over-ripeness. The acid is there, along with everything else to age well. The track record with their estate Chards is they take about 12-15 years to peak. The obnoxious oak integrates into the background leaving you one of California's best Chards. (And, to my tastes, the Estate is almost always far superior to the Monte Bello.)
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#441 Post by robert creth » September 10th, 2018, 2:41 pm

Opened a replacement 2016 Estate Chardonnay today. The first bottle I opened a few months ago, smelled of sulfur matchsticks and I was advised to ask for a replacement. Ridge was very understanding and sent out a replacement bottle as soon as the weather allowed. The new one is exactly the same. I decanted for a few hours after the initial taste to allow the sulfur to blow off, but it doesn’t seem to. I just can’t get past the nose of this wine. Since this is my only view of Ridge whites, I will have to say, not for me.

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#442 Post by Howard Cooper » September 11th, 2018, 10:36 am

Had a 2014 Three Valleys Zin a couple of days ago. Very enjoyable.
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#443 Post by AlexS » September 15th, 2018, 6:17 pm

Rich Brown wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 6:17 pm
AlexS wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 5:00 pm
2016 Geyserville

Wow, this is just...wow. Tastes & smells like classic Geezer fruit but easily the most transparent example I've ever tasted -- absolutely crystalline. It's hard to explain how lightweight the 2016 is for Geyserville yet still so entirely filled with pronounced flavors...almost reminds me of something Piemontese, like a young Gattinara. Most remarkable? The oak is utterly refrained, more so than any other young Ridge I've ever tasted (Alfert -- take note!!!) and wtf -- where did this soaring impression of minerals come from?? Must keep tasting...because science.

Not sure if this speaks to the vintage, Ridge's evolving style or both -- regardless, count me in as an enthusiastic fan!
Nice man - killer note as always!

I haven't seen the 16's here yet in AZ, but I'll definitely be picking some up when I do. I'd say Ridge is on a roll lately.....but I guess you could have been saying that for the past 50+ years.
Rich, dude...buy the 2016 Geezer.

All:

BUY THE 2016 GEYSERVILLE

Having my second bottle tonight with bolognese...redonk. I mean, the bolognese w/tagliatelle is pretty awesome...layers upon layers of complex subtlety over perfectly cooked al dente pasta...but the wine??

f*ck

(apologies for the expletive)

just smh...

Absolutely fantastic Geyserville, the best young example I've ever tasted, better than the 2014 (yeah, I said it). I might have to reach into non-wine budget funds to buy a case, such is the epicness.

WOW
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Re: Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#444 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 15th, 2018, 6:29 pm

Rich Brown wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 12:34 pm
AlexS wrote:
September 2nd, 2018, 12:10 pm
Rich & Bobby -

Crazy to hear about the 2014 Geezer, that wine floored me on release, far more than the 2015 -- do you guys think it's just closed or did it peak young?
As usual, i'm totally with you buddy. Absolutely loved the 14 shortly after release and popped it because I wanted a Ridge and considered it to be a 'sure thing'. The oak was super prominent, to the point where it was almost overpowering (and I'm probably not as sensitive to oak as Alfert). I got the impression it was just shut down or in a kinda awkward phase, and that it would probbaly be much better years down the road. I'm betting on the 14 aging well for a long, long time.
I think we are all in the same boat here on the 2014, how it showed on release. My 2016s just came in, so need to pop one now that I see Alex's note. Looking forward to it!

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

AlexS
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Re: Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#445 Post by AlexS » September 15th, 2018, 6:42 pm

Bobby, I will say that tonight's bottle was a bit more "traditional" in terms of Ridge and less ethereal than the one I had last week. However, tonight's bottle was also paired (and worked perfectly) with a pretty rich meal, which certainly factors into my impression; regardless, the flavors??? Just dayum!!

That said, aside from deliciousness, what's most noteworthy about bottle #2 is the American oak influence is still completely dialed in, if not completely refrained...which is (still) a huge plus!
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Robert.A.Jr.
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Re: Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#446 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 15th, 2018, 6:51 pm

AlexS wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 6:42 pm
Bobby, I will say that tonight's bottle was a bit more "traditional" in terms of Ridge and less ethereal than the one I had last week. However, tonight's bottle was also paired (and worked perfectly) with a pretty rich meal, which certainly factors into my impression; regardless, the flavors??? Just dayum!!

That said, aside from deliciousness, what's most noteworthy about bottle #2 is the American oak influence is still completely dialed in, if not completely refrained...which is (still) a huge plus!

2016:
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 6% one, 9% two, and 65% three and four years old.)
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
2015:
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (5% new, 14% one and 81% three and four years old.)
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel.
2014:
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (15% new, 51% one and two years old, 34% three and four years old.)
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#447 Post by AlexS » September 15th, 2018, 7:01 pm

Wow man, thx for posting that!!! So they really are dialing the oak back overall, slowly but surely...and it's entirely noticeable in the end result. Really makes me also wonder how the toasting regime has differed over recent vintages...

On that note, let's be honest -- Ridge is working with CA Grand Cru vineyards and, although their winemaking has always been the impeccable standard upon which so many others are judged, dialing back on the oak even just a bit only makes for an experience which is truly grander.
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Re: Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#448 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » September 15th, 2018, 7:14 pm

Yup. The 2015 Geezer is the freshest expression of Zin that I have seen from this Estate in many years.

Now compare this to what Ridge has been doing with its Estate Cab, which I am not buying anymore, at least right now.

2014:

Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels; (70% new, 30% two and three years old).
Aging: Nineteen months in barrel

"@lf3rt was clearly raised in an outhouse in the Loire. . . ."

Kenny H (circa 2015)

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Re: Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#449 Post by AlexS » September 15th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Ugh.

By any chance, do you have the numbers on the 2008 Estate Cab?
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Re: Which RIDGE are you drinking?

#450 Post by Larry Stein » September 15th, 2018, 7:33 pm

Of recent vintages for the Estate Cab, 2014 is the exception. 2015 is outstanding, IMO. I've tasted it twice now and I'd be hard-pressed to find another CA Cab that matches it at $60 (I paid $48 as I had a Ridge coupon).

2015
100% air-dried american oak barrels; (45% new, 17% one year old, 38% two and three years old)
Eighteen months in barrel

2013
100% air-dried american oak barrels; (48% new, 42% one year and 10% two years old)
20 months in barrel

2008
100% air-dried american oak barrels (40% new, 50% one year old, 10% two years old)
20 months in barrel

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