Another fantastic Three Valleys from Ridge and one of the best Zinfandel values anywhere!
"Three Valleys" is the proprietary name for the only Ridge wine blended from multiple vineyard sites. They select softer, more accessible lots from their single vineyards and, taking the role of winemaker literally, create a character they find most appealing. Younger vines from Lytton Estate provided most of the fruit; older vines on five small Alexander Valley vineyards and one Russian River vineyard make up the rest. This sixth vintage of Three Valleys contains the highest percentage of zinfandel to date. Sensuous structure and rich fruit give the wine immediate appeal; it will bemost enjoyable over the next five years.
93 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2018 Three Valleys is another terrific 2018 from this team. A blend of 70% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 12% Carignan, and the rest Mataro, it plays in the medium-bodied, elegant end of the spectrum and has wonderful purity in its blue fruits, peppery herbs, violets, and sandalwood aromas and flavors. Nicely textured, elegant, and seamless on the palate, with good acidity, this ethereal, balanced beauty can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years."
92 Points Wine Spectator: "Svelte and briary, with vibrant raspberry and black cherry flavors, accented by licorice, tarragon and white pepper notes. Finishes with snappy tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2028. "
Fantastic new Ridge Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley.
92 Points - Wine Spectator Magazine: "Appealingly old-school and just rustic enough to highlight the vibrant, briary wild berry flavors, laced with dried sage and licorice notes, building tension toward lively tannins. Drink now through 2028."
The growing season at this hilltop vineyard began favorably with mild spring weather. Thanks to steady, warm weather throughout August, all seven parcels were ready to pick by early September. After fermenting each separately, we chose six for their exuberant fruit, elegant tannins and balanced acidity. Enjoyable upon release the exemplary Ridge 2018 East Bench Zinfandel will evolve over six to seven years.
Rare new Petite Sirah release from Ridge!
96 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "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."
The first Ridge Petite Sirah was in 1971. It is a natural cross of syrah and a little-known French variety, peloursin, and is frequently found interplanted in California's old zinfandel vineyards. The varietal offers deep color, firm tannins, and peppery spice complement the rich berry fruit and softer structure of zinfandel. The oldest petite sirah vines on our Lytton Estate were planted in 1901 and the youngest in 1998. We made our first wine from the property in 1972 and until 2002 when we bottled portions of the petite sirah as a separate wine for a limited release, it had always been included in the Lytton Springs Zinfandel.
Fantastic new Ridge Zinfandel from the Dusi Vineyard in Paso Robles.
Benito Dusi Ranch is the only vineyard on the Central Coast that Ridge sources grapes from, and they've been making wines from the Zin vines there since 1967. The wines from this site are fruit-filled but balanced, with bright raspberry fruit and toasted coconut flavors.
95 Points - new release
The new Ridge Lytton Springs Red now available! Limited.
95 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Ridge's Lytton Springs opens up beautifully, with bright acids that drive a whole range of red/purplish fruit intermingled with floral notes. Creamy and ample in feel, the 2017 boasts superb balance and pedigree. Readers lucky enough to own it should plan on cellaring it for at least a few years."
91 Robert Parker: "The 2017 Lytton Springs is made up of 74% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignane and 2% Mataro. It aged in 100% air-dried American oak, 10% new. Medium ruby-purple, it opens with dried flowers, autumn leaves and cinnamon stick notions over a core of crushed red cherries, dried cranberries, apricot, underbrush, red currant and black cherries with a super spicy undercurrent. The palate is medium-bodied, spicy and fresh with a grainy frame and juicy freshness, finishing long and lifted...
...This was a great set of recent releases from Ridge, with the superb 2016 Geyserville standing out as a particular highlight. I've also included a few notes on barrel samples tasted at the Monte Bello winery. For my notes on the winery's flagship Bordeaux blend, Monte Bello, readers are directed to my extensive feature on that wine, also published in this issue. Ridge boasts as illustrious a history as any winery in California, but they certainly aren't resting on their laurels. Indeed, a persuasive case could be made that Ridge is currently producing the best wines they've ever made."
The most ageworthy of all Ridge zinfandels, the Ridge Geyserville can be magnificent when young. From legendary 130 year old vines!
93 Points Wine Spectator: "Robust yet brooding, with multilayered black plum, licorice and Asian five-spice powder flavors that build richness toward big, briary tannins. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Best from 2022 through 2030."
previous vintage 95 Points Rober Parker: "A first look at the Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine revealed immense promise. Despite having been in barrel for a mere six months, it's already offering up complex aromas of raspberries, blackberries and exotic spice. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, pure and succulent, with superb concentration, a lovely line of ripe acidity and a chalky, fine-grained finish. The wine attained 14.7% alcohol, and Baugher believes it will be one of the best renditions of Geyserville in a decade."
Located on the western edge of Sonoma's Alexander Valley, Geyserville was Ridge's first source of red wine grapes, other than Monte Bello Ridge. The combination of Geyserville's climate, gravelly soils, and varietal mix (zinfandel, carignane, petite sirah, alicante, mataro, etc.) imparts elegance and definition not usually associated with zinfandel. It's hard to describe a "typical" Geyserville. Each vintage is unique, distinct, extraordinary. Yet they do have elements in common, including the blackest of blackberry fruit, peppery spice, tar, cedar. The term "layered" was invented for Geyserville. And the wines change, re-inventing themselves in bottle, developing more nuance and complexity as years pass. The '73 still shines.
Ridge's Estate Chardonnay is one of the best buys in California. A gem from the Santa Cruz Mountains, it's got complex fruit aromas and flavors, firm acidity, leesy texture and a mineral streak that make this a Chardonnay that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with your next meal. Get the new vintage before the scores come out!
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2017 Chardonnay Estate has a Burgundian reductive quality as well as first-rate notes of caramelized orchard fruits, crushed rock, and subtle toasty, nutty notes. Rich, medium to full-bodied, with bright acidity, it has beautiful mid-palate depth, and well as the class and structure to keep for 15+ years. This is beautifully done."
previous vintage 95 points Robert Parker: "The Chardonnay Estate is an impeccable, classy wine layered with bright citrus, flowers and just a touch of sweetness from the oak. Crushed rocks and lime peel add complexity on the textured, long finish. None of the blocks were designated for the Monte Bello bottling, all of the fruit went into the Estate. This is a stunningly pure wine from Ridge. I came back to the 2009 Estate after having tasted all of the reds and the wine showed beautifully. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019."
Ridge's Estate Cabernet Sauvigon is what we call "baby Monte Bello" and an amazing buy in Cabernet.
94 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Ridge’s 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a fabulous choice for readers who want a Monte Bello fix now, without having to wait. Supple, radiant and silky, with tremendous balance, the 2017 is just flat-out delicious and utterly irresistible. Dark red cherry/plum fruit, mocha, licorice, sweet tobacco and a kick of American oak build as this sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon shows its allure. The 2017 is an outrageously beautiful wine. Don’t miss it."
previous vintage 94 points Vinous: "Once again an overachiever, Ridge's Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is regal. Aromatically intense and deep on the palate, the 2016 proves to be utterly captivating from the very first taste. Dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, dried flowers, leather and menthol infuse the 2016 with remarkable complexity. In 2016, the last year of the drought cycle Ridge made one of the very best editions of this wine. Just as remarkably, the 2016 is incredibly harmonious for such a young wine."
The Monte Bello vineyard was first planted when the winery was built, in 1886. In the early 1940s, the last of the old vineyard was abandoned; in the late forties a few blocks were replanted. Those cabernet vines - now sixty years old - produced the first Ridge Monte Bello in 1962, and subsequent vintages until the mid-seventies. By then, blocks replanted during the sixties were maturing, and their fruit considered for use in the Monte Bello. A number of those consistently produced a softer, more accessible wine and were combined as the stylistically distinct Santa Cruz Mountains Estate.