Posts Tagged ‘Ridge’

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…

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

It’s all good: A two day extravaganza @ #RidgeVineyards

July 6, 2011

Chillin' on the Ridge.

I’m just gonna say it.

Somebody has to.

It may as well be me.

Ridge Vineyards is the raddest winery in the history of all that is awesome.

A couple of months back, after visiting their Monte Bello tasting room in Cupertino, Kara and I decided to become members.  The membership allows us free tasting, discounts on wine, and the ability to buy futures of their Monte Bello at a DEEP discount.  One of the really neat things we’ve discovered since joining Ridge is how many cool members-only events we get to take part in.  Recently we were able to go to two different events on back-to-back days.

Here’s the rundown…

July 1st: First Friday at Monte Bello

During the summer season, the Monte Bello tasting room will serve a special flight to club members on the first Friday of each month.  Although Ridge is most known for their zinfandel and Bordeaux blends, for July, they offered a vertical tasting of chardonnay.

Who says white wine can't age?

The tasting consisted of the 2003 and 2004 vintages of the Monte Bello Chardonnay, as well as the 2005 and 2006 vintages of the Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Charonnay.  The great part about this tasting was seeing just how well chardonnay can age.  The two Monte Bellos were very much smooth and balanced.  They both had really nice acidity.  The 2005 Estate was a crowd-pleasing chardonnay with a beautiful creamy finish.  The 06 Estate had this amazing smell of figs, but the taste did not live up to the nose.  The winner of this throwdown was…

The 2003 Monte Bello Chardonnay. Class in a glass.

After the chardonnay vertical, I had a hankering for a zinfandel and a picnic.  Now, if you’re talking zins, Ridge has ’em.  Based on a recommendation, we got a bottle of this bad boy…

Ridge 2007 Carmichael Zinfandel and a picnic.

This zin had a nice spice and ripe fruit, without being too jammy.  It was a great way to cap off the day…

Okay…

Seeing this thing on the road on the way back was pretty cool too…

If my car were just a little bit smaller, I'd have tried to drive under this thing.

July 2nd:  Zins, Blends & BBQ

For an early 4th of July celebration, the next day, Ridge offered barbecue paired with many of their fine wines.  Here’s what we had…

Check in with a glass of 2009 Mikulaco Chardonnay. Don't mind if I do.

2009 Geyserville paired with a bomb ass North Carolina Pulled Pork sandwich.

2006 Mazzoni Home Ranch with Kansas City Baby Back Ribs and a bunch of forks.

2007 Lytton Estate Zinfandel w/ California Tri Tip and Blue Cheese Potato Salad. Yum!

I found this 2008 York Creek Zinfandel hiding in the corner with Texas Beef Brisket. This York Creek has become one of my favorite zins in the Ridge collection.

After these pairings, there were three more wines for us to try in the main tasting room…

"Would you like to try our 2009 Jimsomare Chardonnay?" "Does a bear poo in the woods?"

The 2009 Buchignani Carignane. So nice, I had it twice... You'll see.

2006 Lytton Estate Syrah done in the true Côte-Rôtie style with 8% viognier.

We were such fans of the Buchignani Carignane that we got another bottle to have with our picnic leftovers from the day before.

I told you.

And there you have it!

13 wines.

4 barbecue dishes.

2 picnics.

1 dope time.

The shadows of Kara and JeffIsRad on the Ridge.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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