96 Points - James Suckling "This is impressive for the sense of presence and depth it delivers on the nose and palate with subtly spiced dark plums and cherries, as well as cocoa powder and a superbly composed structure that delivers a seamless, long and fresh finish. A blend of 73 per cent zinfandel, 17 per cent carignane, seven per cent petite sirah and three per cent alicante bouschet. Drink or hold."
95 Points - William Kelley (RobertParker.com) "The 2016 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine is a real success this year, bursting from the glass with an exuberant bouquet of sweet cherries, blackberries and plums, with subtle hints of the licorice and spice to come with age, and a subtle framing of sweet new oak. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a lovely core of ripe, succulent fruit and beautifully fine-grained structuring tannins. The finish is long and pure. There are 23 different grape varieties co-planted in the Geyserville vineyard, but in 2016, Zinfandel dominates at 73%, followed by 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet.
Formed in 1962 Ridge Vineyards is perhaps California’s most revered and respected wine estate. With an old world ethos to winemaking balance and character are the main requirements for every bottle produced. Paul Draper has been winemaker here since 1969 ensuring that only ripe fruit is used alongside minimal intervention. As such, all wines have medium levels of alcohol, are deftly oaked and are unfiltered in a concerted effort to capture the inherent quality of the wine’s raw material.
At the introductory level, Ridge’s Estate Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon offer an immediate drinking experience that’s top notch and affordable. These are made with grapes grown on the estate’s vineyards in the cool hills of Santa Cruz. There is a great track record of these ageing well for up to 10 years from the vintage. Monte Bello is the winery’s range of super premium wines that helped it gain its reputation after the Cabernet Sauvignon placed 5th overall at Stephen Spurrier’s famous Judgement of Paris in 1976. After Stag’s Leap it was the 2nd best performing American red wine that had been rated by leading critics in a blind taste test. It is today a Bordeaux blend featuring cabernet sauvignon alongside merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot ageing well for up to 30 years. Its white companion, a varietal Chardonnay which is held in similar esteem, resembles a grand cru Burgundy with its mineral acidity balancing the ripe fruit and oak.
California is the largest and most important wine region in the US – in fact, if California were a separate country it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer! California stretches along the west coast of the USA meaning that soils and climates vary enormously depending on the area’s altitude, latitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Generally the cooler regions closer to the coast are most suited to the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whilst further inland (where the climate is much hotter) some of California’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignon wines are grown. The famous Ridge Estate is located here and produces some of the best and most sought after wines in California. If you enjoy Chardonnay, we highly recommend you take a look at Liquid Farm Winery, whose Chardonnay’s (we believe!) rival those of Burgundy.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
For weightier style reds we recommend the Zalto Bordeaux glass, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
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