Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

New Releases from Ridge Vineyards

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. Shauna Rosenblum was recently named the Winemaker at Ridge Lytton Springs.

Ridge recently sent me samples of a few wines that will be released this Spring.

2021 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel East Bench – Ruby red in color. 14.9% ABV. 100% Zinfandel from Funsten Ranch in Dry Creek Valley. Pretty nose of red fruits, flowers and citrus. Medium body with medium acidity. Light, fresh and crisp with bright, expressive fruits. Cherry, strawberry, blood orange and pepper on the palate. Nice length on the finish. Really compelling Zinfandel that rivals the best from the appellation. Drink over the next 4-6 years. $45 at at the winery and retail. My rating: 94 points.

2020 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Boatman – Bright crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. 97% Zinfandel and 3% Petite from Boatman Ranch situated on the border of Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. Sublime nose of red fruits, anise and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Structure and power in spades. Black cherry, raspberry, plums and bittersweet chocolate on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. One of those wines from Ridge that will age effortlessly. Best over the next 6-8 years. $40 at the winery and retail. My rating: 93 points.

2018 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Buchignani Ranch – Crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. 80% Zinfandel and 20% Carignane from a vineyard situated in Alexander Valley. Gorgeous nose of red fruit, baking spices and citrus. Medium body with medium acidity. Really elegant with rich, refined fruits. Black cherry, salmonberry, plums and earth on the palate. The finish is long and supple. 2018 was a banner year for Zinfandel and your getting another chance to add more to your cellar. Best over the next 3-4 years. $40 at the winery and retail. My rating: 93 points.

2021 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Paso Robles – Bright crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. 100% Zinfandel from Benito Dusi Ranch. Soaring nose of red fruits, spearmint and baking spices. Medium body with exquisite acidity and balance. Loaded with bright, juicy fruits. Bing cherry, raspberry liqueur, strawberry and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Arguably, the best Zinfandel in the Ridge portfolio. Drink over the next 5-7 years. $45 at the winery and retail. My rating: 96 points.

Ridge has been defined by their Zin program for as long as I can remember and in recent years these wines have soared to new heights.

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.

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