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 were previously released.
2021 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Blasi – Crimson in color. 13.4% ABV. From Metcalfe Vineyard in the Chalk Hill area of Sonoma County. The vines date back 120 years. 97% Zinfandel and 3% Petite Sirah. Pretty nose of red fruits, citrus and earth. Medium body with perfect acidity. Claret style Zinfandel packed with tart fruits. Cherry, blood orange, earth and pepper on the palate. Really nice length on the finish. Delicious Zinfandel that should really appeal to those of you who yearn for Zinfandel that shows elegance and restraint. Best over next 5-7 years. $40 at the winery. My rating: 93 points.
2021 Ridge Vineyards Rockpile – Dark crimson in color. 14.7% ABV. 73% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah and 4% Alicante Bouschet. From Botticelli Vineyard which is situated at 1200 feet above Lake Sonoma in the Rockpile Appellation. Savory nose of red fruits, citrus and flowers. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. The concentration and power are notable. Well balanced. Black cherry, cranberry, pomegranate and earth on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Rest assured that this wine is built for the long haul. Best over the next 6-8 years. $40 at the winery. My rating: 94 points.
2021 Ridge Vineyards Zinfandel Ponzo – Magenta in color. 14.7% ABV. 95% Zinfandel and 5% Petite Sirah. Sublime nose of red fruits, peach and anise. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Lush, well balanced and bursting with bright, juicy fruits. Cherries, raspberry liqueur and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. My kind of Zinfandel. This embodies everything I love about Russian River Valley Zins. Best over the next 3-4 years. $40 at the winery and retail. My rating: 95 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.