Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. John Olney is Head Winemaker at Ridge.
Benito Dusi Ranch was originally planted in 1923. From the start, it was planted entirely to zinfandel, and it remains so to this day. For a vineyard that was established more than 95 years ago, this devotion to a single grape variety was highly unusual, as field blended plantings were far more conventional at the time. However, the Dusi family’s single-minded commitment to and consummate care for the Zinfandel variety is an essential part of what makes this particular site so distinctive.
Purple in color. 15.1% ABV. Spellbinding nose or black fruits, plums, anise and pepper. Medium to full bodied with tremendous acidity. Bold, rich Zinfandel with great depth of flavors. Black cherry, blackberry liqueur, herbs and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. The 2017 Ridge lineup is pretty impressive given the difficult vintage. Best over the next 3-5 years.
My rating: 93 points.
The entire Ridge lineup is available at the winery and for the most part at retail as well. Exceptional wines that are fairly priced, well crafted and easy to find. Everyone is always looking for the latest and greatest when it comes to wine. Sometimes it pays to stick with the tried and true. There is so much to like here.