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One of the most serious English Sparkling producers. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After three years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a minimal dosage of just 4g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality.

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Entries in Geyserville (2)

Wednesday
Sep142011

Tasting "Legendary" New Releases from Ridge Vineyards

 

In stock and available now on KLWines.com!

Sure, nobody does it like Ridge Vineyards. Their wines have been a cornerstone of our selection (when we can get them) over the years.

Perhaps the most universally well-liked CA winery amongst our staff, Ridge just received a heaping dose of love from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

"I tasted a breathtaking array of wines during my recent visit with Paul Draper at Ridge," writes Antonio Galloni in the September 2011 issue,"...Heretical as it may sound, I think the wines Draper is making today will prove to be far superior to the wines of decades past, many of which are rightly considered legendary." 

Well, we popped open the wines at K&L Redwood City to taste for ourselves.

The verdict?

 

2009 Ridge Vineyards Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($34.99)

"The 09 Ridge Estate Chardonnay is rich, mouthfilling, gorgeous Chardonnay with great length. Leesey complexity and a profound mineral component balance the deep and concentrated fruit. The oak is present but not overpowering, given the richness and purity of the fruit, which is 100% estate, from vines planted in the 40's on the Monte Bello Vineyard. This production spent fifteen months in predominantly air-dried American aak barrels, only 10% of which were new (with the rest 1-4 years old). It registers as Meursault-like to me at this time. Though drinkable now, it has the stuffing to age, and these wines from Ridge do age beautifully. This bottle merits inclusion in any serious Chardonnay collection." -By: Chiara Shannon | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2011

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 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. In 2009 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." (08/11) 


09 Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs" Dry Creek Zinfandel ($31.99)

At the annual Zinfandel Advocates and Producers Tasting (ZAP) back in January there was really one Zinfandel that stood out from all the rest and that was the 2009 Lytton Springs. There was so much wine in the bottle there that so many else at the same even couldn’t even hope to have. Fast forward nine months later and the wine has grown even more into itself with wonderful aromatics of gingerbread, spice cake, muddle blackberries and a waft of cigar smoke. This hits the mouth brimming with size, generous with its ample fruit and spice, but yet never feels excessive. It is sort of like a perfect steak, marbled and rich, needing almost nothing but a pinch of salt and pepper to make it sing. Long, dry and spicy with great balance, add a pinch of braised meat and this will do you well for decades to come. - Review By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2011

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Lytton Springs is the biggest and most structured of these 2009 Zinfandel-based reds, largely owing to the earthier soils and the presence 23% Petite Sirah. Black fruit, plums, tar, licorice and smoke are some of the notes that flow from this generous, inviting red. The Lytton Springs is fairly structured, and can definitely benefit from another year or two (perhaps more) in bottle. The blend is 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah and 5% Carignane. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2029." (08/11)


2009 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Sonoma Zinfandel ($29.99)

Geyserville has consistently been my favorite bottling from Ridge over time. There is something that just hits my palate right about this wine; I think it is the perfect combination of fruit, spice, oak and texture for a Zinfandel based wine. A touch brighter and higher toned than the Lytton Springs bottling this has powerful aromas of black raspberry, nutmeg, cedar and toasted marshmallow. More purely fruited this year than in the recent past this has bursting flavors of blueberry, ash, black tea and a touch of dill from the American Oak used in the aging of the wine. Clean, ripe, focused and complete with a wonderful sappiness this is delicious now and will only get better over the next decade. - Review By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2011

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Geyserville is a gorgeous wine. It shows expressive inner perfume, sweet black cherries, menthol and minerals. This is an understated, exceptionally elegant red endowed with considerable finesse and fabulous overall balance. A round, sensual finish makes it impossible to resist a second taste. In 2009 the blend is 74% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mourvedre. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2029." (08/11) 

 

2008 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.99)

Sourced from the same vineyard that its big brother Monte Bello comes from, the Estate Cab from Ridge is one of best values in California Cabernet. The 2008 does not disappoint in the least, dark and brooding fruit is balanced against beautiful minerality and savory notes of leather and spice. A pleasure to drink now and will continue to be stunning for the next 10 years. - Review By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member (& Ridge Alum!) | Review Date: September 14, 2011

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is compelling. Where to start? An expressive bouquet redolent of sweet herbs, tobacco and incense leads to a gorgeous tapestry of dark red fruit. The Estate is drop-dead gorgeous, with the silkiest of tannins that frame an extraordinary finish. This has to be one of the most compelling values in California Cabernet. In 2008 the blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc..." (08/11) 


2008 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon($129.99)

Coming from an extraordinarily small vintage, the concentration and depth of this year's Monte Bello is astonishing. Drinking this over two days revealed layers upon layers of full, dark fruit, laced with sand stone, old leather, and minerality stemming from the limestone in the vineyard. A wine that will surely age with grace and style, something I can't wait to open with good friends and family in the next 10 to 20 years. - Review By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member (& Ridge Alum!) | Review Date: September 14, 2011

97+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Monte Bello is striking. It is a decidedly muscular Monte Bello endowed with layers of dark fruit. Tobacco, mint, asphalt and crushed rocks develop in the glass, adding tons of complexity and finesse. A long, saline finish rounds things out beautifully. In 2008 the cold growing season stretched into October and the wine definitely has the feel of a cool vintage. The spring frost and the second year of drought conditions lowered yields significantly. Yields were just 1.25 tons per acre on average, but some of the older vineyards came in at less than 1 ton per acre. The balance of fruit, tannin and structure is simply extraordinary, but the wine needs time, most likely lots of it. In 2008 the blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038." (08/11)


Yes, we concur: "Legendary" sounds about right. 

***

What do you think? Stage your own Ridge tasting at home and share your tasting notes with us on KLWines.com>>My Wine List  

 Of course, you will need to grab these bottles before it's too late: 

2009 Ridge Vineyards Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($34.99)

09 Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs" Dry Creek Zinfandel ($31.99)

2009 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Sonoma Zinfandel ($29.99)

2008 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.99)

2008 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon($129.99)

 

 

Wednesday
Jun302010

'Cuing Up: Wines for the 4th of July

I'm always looking for an excuse to invite friends over for a cookout, and there's no better one than living a bike-ride's distance from the beach on the Fourth of July. I'm also fortunate to know there are a wealth of wines, at every price point, to go with anything you can throw at the 'cue--from Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip to American Bison sliders (try them with carmelized onions and smoked tomato compote), or, if you live around the Chesapeake, steamed Maryland Blue Crabs doused with Old Bay. Here are some of our favorite domestic wines--we are celebrating American Independence after all--to make any Fourth crackle like a Roman candle.

If you're leaning toward the crab and Old Bay scenario, you need a sparkler of a wine, not necessarily something bubbly, and definitely or weighed down by butter notes or oak. The 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Clarksburg Chenin Blanc ($9.99) blends lemon, apricot and nectarine notes with acidity that sings like the high notes in the National Anthem. Now, if you've steered clear of Chenin Blanc because you think it's sweet, hear me out: THIS IS DRY. There is nothing sweet about this wine, unless you're using the word as a slangy compliment.

If you're 4th is likely to be a "session" celebration, then it's probably a good idea to have some lighter-style beers on hand. The Maui Brewing Company "Bikini Blonde Lager" ($1.83 each) comes in convenient cans that can get tucked in a bag and cooled in the river or lake while you're getting your grill on. If you want something hoppier but that won't put you to sleep, try the Russian River Brewing "Blind Pig" IPA (500ml $4.30) or the aptly named Anchor Brewing "Liberty Ale" ($1.49).

Whole Rainbow Trout stuffed with lemon and rosemary come out fantastic on the grill, and the 2008 Chehalem "Inox" Willamette Valley Chardonnay ($15.99), with its Adriatic fig, lime and saturn peach-like fruit, and completely crisp palate feel, your fish will sing like that silly wall-mounted fish that appears in too many summer cabins. This would also go quite well with grilled veggies!

2007 Kunin "Westside" Paso Robles Zinfandel ($21.99) Paso Robles may not exactly be the "heart" of Santa Maria-style barbecue country, but it's definitely a ventricular valve. So it comes as no surprise that Seth Kunin's "Westside" Zin (actually, all of Kunin's reds) pairs perfectly with the garlicky, smoky meat, the fresh salsa and the pinquito beans. The Westside comes from the Cushman and Rancho Santa Margarita vieyards and is aged for 10 months in a combination of French and American oak, and it is spicy and rich, with plenty of bright red fruit and actual acidity (believe it) that will stand up to those thick slabs of tri-tip.

If you've never had a bottle of Ridge's classic "Geyserville," then you've been missing out on a quintessential California wine, as American as football or apple pie, but possibly better than both. The 2008 "Geyserville" ($29.99) is comprised of Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Mataro. It has a complexity that few varietal wines can offer, with briar fruits, tangy cranberry, spicy white pepper and an undercurrent of black olives on the nose that evolve into mocha, licorice and black raspberry in the mouth. Try will pair with the aforementioned Bison sliders, ribs, ribeyes, pork tenderloin or any number of other savory treats you lay in its path. If you're having a big party, try a BIG bottle, like the 2004 vintage in magnum ($74.99) or three-liter ($189.00).

I love Zuni- Cafe style roasted chicken (I do mine on a cast iron vertical roaster on the grill) and tomatoey panzanella with a juicy Syrah--it's actual my go-to Sunday supper--and I don't like to spend a lot on the wine that goes with it. Fortunately, some of my favorite Central Coast winemakers turn out lovely, balanced Syrahs that don't overpower the simply prepared bird or my wallet. The 2007 and 2008 Hocus Pocus Santa Barbara County Syrahs ($17.99) are a case in point, as is Wells Guthrie's "I-can't-believe-it's-entry-level" 2007 Copain "Tous Ensemble" Mendocino County Syrah ($17.99), which has brambly fruit, hints of smoke and a touch of dark chocolate to boot.

The 2008 Charles Smith "The Velvet Devil" Washington Merlot ($11.99), from Food & Wine Magazine's 2009 Winemaker of the year, could, single-handedly, change the way you've come to think about Merlot because it's anything but over-priced or over-produced. Juicy, plummy, from a state named for our inimitable first president and a good match for burgers and sausages.

Whatever you drink: Happy 4th of July! Be safe and have fun!

Leah Greenstein