New Releases @RidgeVineyards. Same dope juice.

With as much as I talk and write about Ridge Vineyards on this blog, you’d think they are paying me to do it…

In reality…

I pay them…

Gladly.

Being a member of any winery will always set you back a couple of bucks, but you do it because of the privileges that it gives you.

In this case…

With this winery…

The privileges are dope!

Sure, I get to taste for free at both of their tasting rooms.

Sure, I get to purchase futures of the epic Monte Bello at a DEEP discount.

But it’s the events that get me to schlep up that mountain in Cupertino time and time again.

Yesterday, Kara and I hit up the Ridge Tasting room at Monte Bello for their Fall Release/50th Anniversary event.

Upon check in, we were presented with this bad boy…

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Ridge 2010 Estate Chardonnay: Good lemon citrus crossed with the scraped up crust left over from a delicious apple pie a’la mode.

After that tasty treat, we headed up to the barn to try three new Ridge wines paired with some fantastic wood fired pizza from the fine folks at Pizza Politana.  If I were smart, I would have taken a few pictures of the pizza.  I’m not.  So I didn’t.

Anyways…

Here’s the wine…

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Ridge 2010 Ponzo Zinfandel: From the cool climate of the Russian River Valley, this Zinfandel is blended with 4% Petite Sirah. This is not your over-the-top fruit bomb. This is restrained red berries rounded out by a great earthiness. I love the lingering finish of rainbow sherbet.

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Ridge 2010 Pagani Ranch Zinfandel: Blended with 16% Alicante Bouchet and 2% Petite Sirah, this is another cool climate Zinfandel. This time, the vineyard is located in the Northern Sonoma Valley. This is wine has a good juiciness and concentration with its red fruit, but it is very laid back.

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Ridge 2009 Monte Bello: When Antonio Gallioni uses terms like “utterly magnificent” and “towering masterpiece” to describe a wine, then blesses it with a 98 in the Wine Advocate… You take note. This year’s installment of Ridge’s flagship wine is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot. This is not an in-your-face Napa cult cab. This is a complex marrying of rubbery tannin and earthy mushrooms. Oh… The dark red fruit is there, but this wine is much more than that. I like it.

After we were finished with these barn-burners, we strolled down to the tasting room to chill with three more fantastic wines…

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Ridge 2010 Lytton Springs: Composed of 67% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah, 7% Carignane, and 3% Mataro (Say it with me… Mer-Ver!) from the iconic vineyard in the heat of the Alexander Valley, this is consistently one of my favorite wines from Ridge. Awesome nose of tires and clove spice. Fantastic balance of blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry fruit. Gallioni gave it a 93+. I agree. It’s a towering masterpiece.

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Ridge 2009 Lytton Estate Zinfandel: Blended with 29% Petite Sirah, this is another great example of the balance of acid, tannin, juicy red fruit, and dope bike tires that makes me love the wines of Ridge.

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Ridge 2003 Santa Cruz Mountains: I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating… This is THEE wine that introduced me to Ridge Vineyards. Once every couple of months, I’ll stare at this bottle in my wine fridge and debate as to whether or not I should open it up. A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc from the Monte Bello Estate, this nine-year-old is maturing into something amazing. Fantastic nose of menthol, mint, tobacco, blueberries, and blackberries. On the palate, there is a great leafy and minty herbaciousness to go along with berry and tomato fruit. This is in its prime right now, but I would not be surprised to see it show well for another five years at least. Dope!

Oh man…

That was a great event.

Membership does have its privileges.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

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One Response to “New Releases @RidgeVineyards. Same dope juice.”

  1. Lauren Says:

    So very jealous. This being the first year since we moved away, we missed the event, and I has a sad.

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