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.
Ridge recently sent me samples of a few wines that will be included in their Fall release on September 1st.
2019 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs – Dark crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. 73% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignane and 2% Mataro. Savory nose of of black fruits, earth and flowers. Medium to full bodied with ample acidity. Tremendous power, structure and balance. Black cherry, plums, cocoa and pepper on the palate. The finish on the wine is exceptionally long with subtle tannins. Even better than the highly acclaimed 2018 version. Best over the next decade or so. $45 at the winery and retail. My rating: 94 points.
2019 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Vineyard – Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. 90% Zinfandel, 6% Petite Sirah and 4% Alicante Bouschet. Stunning nose of red fruits, anise and pepper. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Absolutely packed with bright fruits. Impeccable balance. Cherry, raspberry compote, wild strawberry and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. This wine has clearly outperformed in recent years and is my favorite of the Geyserville, Lytton Springs, Pagani trio. Absolutely delicious. Best over the next 6-8 years. $40 at the winery and retail. My rating: 95 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.