Posts Tagged ‘Fall Release’

New Releases @RidgeVineyards. Same dope juice.

September 2, 2012

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…


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…


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.


Here’s the wine…


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.


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.


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…


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.


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.


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,



From the Ridge to the Sea…

September 5, 2011

On Saturday, Kara and I headed up to Ridge Vineyards to check out the new Fall Releases.

It sure was an event to behold.

Check it!

At check-in, we were greeted with the 2008 Monte Bello Chardonnay. The nose is loaded with baked apple and a hint of lemon grass. There's a nice acidity on the palate. This wine screams for cheese.

Next, we headed up to the barn to get some of the 2007 Mazzoni Home Ranch. This Zin comes blended with 39% Carignane. The palate is loaded with juicy black fruit with that hint of tire that I'm in love with.

We then moved over to the 2009 Pagani Ranch Zinfandel. This one had a bright acidity and dark fruit. It was a bit too jammy for me. That last sentence is the worst thing I have ever said about any wine from Ridge... Ever. Think about it.

At table three, we hit up the 2009 York Creek Zinfandel. It had a palate of tires and berries. With 7% Petite Sirah, this wine had a LOVELY grip.

Now the 2009 Lytton Springs was just dope. Great dark fruit rounded out with round, chalky tannins. You know I love chalk. This wine was F'ing Delish!

Finally, we moved down to the main tasting room for some Monte Bello action... The 2008 was FANTASTIC! This vintage is one of the first in a while that only consists of Cabernet Sauvignon (72%) and Merlot (28%). This bad boy was loaded with big blue fruit and silky round tannins. When Robert Parker tasted this vintage in 2010, he gave it 94 - 96 points... I can see why.

To finish off the tasting, we got to try the 1992 Monte Bello from a magnum bottle. This wine was an interesting fellow... The fruit, as it should, is starting to drop out. Coming to the forefront on the palate is this nice black olive component with a little bit of tires and chalk. I think the '92 is gonna turn into a very fun wine to play with in another 5 years or so.

As great as the wine was, there was another reason for taking a trip up to the top of Monte Bello Road…

In the days leading up to the event, I came to learn that the wine was to be paired with wood-fired pizzas from Pizza Politana!

Three pizzas to pair with the '08 Monte Bello Chardonnay, 2009 Lytton Springs, and 2008 Monte Bello. Loved 'em all!

Finishing off some Ridge sausage and eggplant pizzas. Yum!

The legendary Pizza Politana oven on wheels.

If we coulda’, we woulda’ stayed at The Ridge all day… but we had dinner plans…


We hustled down to sea level to meet Kara’s dad at The Fish Market in San Jose for dinner…

While waiting to be seated, I picked up a Johnny Walker Red on the rocks from the bar.

For starters, I had to have me some oysters on the half shell. I am obsessed with these!

For the main course, I got me some catfish with fries and coleslaw. Triple yum, foo!

What a day!

From the Ridge, to the sea, to my bed for a hardcore nap.

Stay Rad,


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