We tasted Fri (9/25/20) some Ridge Wines w/ Mark Vernon:
1. Ridge Geyserville AlexVlly/SonomaCnty (68% Zin/20% Carignane/10% PetiteSirah/2% AlicanteBouschet;
14.7%; bttld Jan 2020; Drk: 10/19-10/31: EB) 2018: Very dark color; very strong blackberry/black cherry/Zin
fairly earthy/dusty/OV light toasty/Ridge oak somewhat complex nose; lightly tart strong blackberry/Zin/
black cherry cola some Ridge oak/smokey bit quieter more complex slight reduced/pungent flavor w/ modest
chewey tannins; very long/lingering strong blackberry/black cherry/spicy structured some dusty/OV bit
complex finish w/ ample chewey tannins; not as effusive as some Geyservilles on release but a very solid
Geyserville that baddly needs age. $45.00/$40.50 (Z-List)
2. Ridge LyttonSprings DCV/SonomaCnty (14.5%; 72% Zin/18% PS/8% Carignane/2% Mataro; bttld Jan 2020;
tataric acid; Drk: 11/19-11/29: JO) 2018: Very dark color; beautiful intense blackberry/boysenberry/very LS
spicy very light Ridge oak some dusty/OV lovely intense classic LS nose; fairly tart intense blackberry/
boysenberry/very LS spicy/bit peppery light Ridge/vanilla/oak some dusty/OV structured bit complex flavor
w/ ample chewey tannins; very long/lingering intense blackberry/boysenberry/ripe/classic LS spicy/peppery
light Ridge/oak slight dusty/OV bit complex finish w/ ample firm/ripe tannins; a terrific example of a
young LS w/ all the LS spiciness you can get; quite structured and should age well; a must-but Ridge.
3. Ridge CabernetSauvignon Estate MonteBelloVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (75% CS/21% Merlot/3% CabFranc/
1% PetiteVerdot; 14.0%; 83.6 tons/39.5 acres; bttld 8/19; Drk: 5/19-5/29: EB) 2017: Very dark color;
very strong blackcurranty/Cab slight herbal/Bdx-like fairly strong vanilla/Am.oak bit dusty/OV quite
fragrant bit complex nose; fairly tart very strong blackberry/Cab slight herbal/Bdx-like structured rather
rugged Mtn Cab modest Ridge/toasty/oak flavor w/ modest firm tannins; very long/lingering strong
blackcurranty/ripe/Cab slight herbal bit dusty/OV structured bit complex finish w/ some chewey tannins;
a very good MB look-alike at a very fair price; better than most 2'nd label Cabs at a fairer price.
4. Palmer & Co Champagne Brut Reserve (12%) Reims NV: Pretty good Champagne. $60.00
5. Ridge Geyserville Calif (14.9%; 68% Zin/17% Carignane/17% PS; 20% slctn; bttld Jan 2002;
Drk: 12/01-12/06-12/08: PD) 2000: Fairly dark color w/ some bricking; complex blackberry/Zin/spicy some
cedary/pencilly/cigar box quite dusty/OV fairly aromatic quite complex nose; bit soft strong cedary/
pencilly/cigar box/old Zin some blackberry/blackberry/Zin/spicy fairly dusty/OV very complex flavor w/
light smooth tannins; very long/lingering cedary/pencilly/old Zin some blackberry/Zin/spicy fairly
dusty/OV fairly complex finish w/ light gentle tannins; a great example of a mature Zin at or slightly
beyond its peak; a great example for a 20 yr old Zin. $38.00
6. Ridge Geyserville Calif (14.6%; 70% Zin/18% Carignane/10% PS/2% Mataro; bttld Jan 08;
Drk: 11/07-11/15-11/17: EB) 2006 : Dark color w/ little bricking; very strong blackberry/Zin/very spicy some
dusty/OV modest vanilla/oak light cedary/pencilly/oak some complex rather youthful nose; lightly tart strong
blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/fairly spicy some vanilla/oak bit cedary/pencilly complex smooth flavor w/ modest
smooth tannins; very long/lingering fairly strong blackberry/boysenberry/spicy some dusty/OV some vanilla/Ridge
oak complex finish w/ modest smooth tannins; amazingly youthful for a 14 yr old Zin and no signs of drying
out or falling apart; amazing stuff. $36.00
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Because of the COVID, the SantaFe Wine&Chile Fiesta went to virtual tastings this year. You signed up
for a tasting which include btls of 3-4 different wines. You then tasted them w/ some friends in person,
as the host described the wines and made commentary upon them whilst you were all connected on a Zoom Webinar.
This Seminar on Ridge wines was hosted by MarkVernon, CEO at Ridge. We had tasted the two Zins the Sunday
before at a tasting at Pig+Fig when we tasted the new Ridge Z-List release. I supplemented this tasting
with the two older Geyservilles.
During the Serminar, I harrassed Mark w/ a bunch of questions. One I asked: "Grenache Blanc? Falanghina?
Tribidrag. What other new things is Ridge hiding from me??" He was reluctant to go into any detail, but dropped
that there was a Roussanne in the works, probably from the AdelaideVnyd in Paso. The idea for these new wines
is to keep Eric & John engaged to trying new things and not just do the same ole/same ole all the time.
I asked about use of submerged cap fermentations, a technique that I gather was developed at Ridge. Instead
of doing manual punchdowns or pump-overs, once the cap has formed, a steel grid is used to submerge the cap
into the fermenting tank to aid the extraction of color & tannins. It results in a more gentler extraction.
Mark said that they still use submerged cap ferments, but not as frequently as in the past. It turns out,
in the early days of Ridge, many of the workers had day jobs and couldn't do frequent punch-downs/pump-overs.
So they used the submerged cap so they could return to their days jobs and then return a few days later to
re-submerge the cap. That was something I'd never known & I'd followed Ridge from the very start. But they
still use submerged cap ferments on some wines if John/Eric feels it would give a better extraction.
In the Estate/SCM Cab, Ridge used to make the MB selection first, and then used the remainder for their
2'nd Cab wine, the SCM Cab. But they realized that the 2'nd Cab often was a hard/tannic Cab and not always
that drinkable upon release. Now, after they've done the MB selection, they are much more careful to select
the barrels that go into their Estate Cab so as to make it more drinkable than the flagship MB. And now the
leftovers are simply bulked out to Gemello or some other Cab producer that needs a boost in quality of
2. This virtual tasting was hosted by Laura & Dustin at Pig+Fig restaurant here in WhiteRock for some 8
others in my wine group. To accompany the wines, Laura served a light meal. The first course was a terrific Fresh
Portabella mushroom stuffed w/ Chevre w/ a Balsamic reduction sauce. The 2'nd course was equally stunning...
Gnocchi w/ a braised lamb sauce. The final was chocolate petite fours served with Laura's Ridge Zin Essence/
Dusi Ranch. Alas...no TN's taken on it but it was a delicious dessert wine from hlf btl, very intensely
Dustin set up a big-screen monitor so all of us hooked up on our devices could turn off the audio and hear
from one sound source, which made it much easier to follow than the Wed virtual Seminar where we all had our
devices on and there was a rather chaotic sound throughout the room. But we still had the opportunity in the
Chat window to harrass Mark to our heart's content. It worked out a whole lot better
3. Of the two '18 Zins, I far preferred the LS to the Geezer. Very intense fruit w/ loads of that classic LS
spiciness. The Geezer seemed a bit more tight/restrained/closed than previous Geezers. But it should mature
just fine into an old Geezer.
Of the two old Geezers, I preferred the '00 for its greater complexity & maturity. But the '06 was in
pretty amazing shape and should continue to mature.
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