James Suckling 94
“A beautiful red with lots of blackberries, cloves, stone, spice and purple fruit. It’s full and balanced with a creamy texture and a flavorful finish. Some graphite to the black fruit. More zin this year in the blend. 71% zinfandel, 19% carignan, 7% petite sirah and 3% alicante bouschet.”-JS
Wilfred Wong 93
“COMMENTARY: The 2019 Ridge Geyserville is gorgeous, layered, and long. TASTING NOTES: This wine shows an alluring aroma and flavors of bright boysenberries and an attractive oak accent. Try it with an oven-baked rack of lamb topped with fresh mint leaves. (Tasted: April 16, 2021, San Francisco, CA)”-WW
Wine Spectator 93
“Deeply structured, yet nimble on its feet. Blackberry, fresh fennel and brown baking spices build richness and layers toward medium-grained tannins. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2030.”-WS
Wine & Spirits 93
“The oldest vines at Ridge’s Geyserville Vineyard were planted 130 years ago in a gravel wash off the Russian River. Today, the wine layers the fruit of successive generations of vines while combining zinfandel (71 percent) and carignane (19 percent) with petite sirah and alicante Bouschet. All those elements come together in a complex tapestry of flavor, smoky in its concentration, lasting on scents of herbs, flowers and berries. As elegant as the wine may be, it is not shy in its rich power. Geyserville often reaches its peak between ten and 20 years from the vintage and this one should age well.”-W&S
“Dark garnet red with classic Geyserville nose of ripe black cherry and plum, gravel, wintergreen, and beautiful oak spice. Deep and sensuously layered with polished tannins, river-rock minerality, and a long finish.
Blend: 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet”-Winemaker Notes
“Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.
Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s, it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.
The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.”-Winery Notes
Ridge VineyardsView all from Ridge Vineyards
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge's production facility. At 2600?, it is surrounded by the "upper vineyard."
In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines -- now the "middle vineyard"-- new owners Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Charlie Rosen, and Howard Ziedler, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California's finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and '61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. Dave Bennion left his role at S.R.I. to oversee winemaking duties full time.
The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy--recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range--he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and Zinfandel account for most of the production; Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Petite Sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962.
Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our pre-industrial approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine.