2012 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Sonoma County Zinfandel

SKU #1156868 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (71% zinfandel, 19% carignane, 7% petite sirah, 2% mataro and 1% alicante bouschet): Inky purple. A heady, exotically perfumed bouquet displays scents of dark berry liqueur, potpourri, smoky oak and Indian spices, with a hint of licorice in the background. Fleshy, palate-staining black raspberry and boysenberry flavors become brighter and spicier with air and pick up a sexy lavender pastille nuance. Supple tannins add support to an extremely long, sweet finish that extends the berry and floral notes. As fine an example of this consistently excellent bottling as I've had in years. (ST)  (5/2014)

93 points Vinous

 The 2012 Zinfandel Geyserville is quite exuberant in this vintage. Savory herbs, tobacco, smoke, menthol and dark red/blackish-toned fruit burst from the glass in an exotic, juicy Zinfandel-based field blend loaded with personality. The tannins could use another year to soften, but readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this jewel of a wine. The brisk, energetic finish is incredibly appealing. The blend is 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro (Mourvèdre). (AG)  (7/2014)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Bold flavors and a graceful mouthfeel come together in this classic, complex and well-balanced red, made from 71% Zinfandel with other traditional California varieties. The blackberry, sage and ever-so-slightly earthy aromas continue through the flavors, where they interlace with firm tannins and supportive acidity. This could easily improve through 2019.  (2/2015)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Ridge’s 2012 Proprietary Red Geyserville is a blend of 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignan, 7% Petite Sirah and the rest Mourvédre and Alicante Bouchet. It exhibits a dark ruby/plum color, loads of berry fruit intermixed with earth, pepper and spice, and good freshness as well as precision. This sensual, spicy 2012 can be consumed over the next 5-6 years. (RP)  (10/2014)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Focused and structured yet surprisingly light on its feet, this offers smoky plum and dill aromas that lead to zesty flavors of raspberry, fresh anise and spice box. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mataro and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2020.  (10/2014)

Connoisseurs Guide

 *One Star* Ridge's iconic Geyserville bottlings are typically among the deeper and more distinctive Zinfandel incarnations, and this latest hits both of those marks. It is not, however, an ebulliently fruity wine, and its toughness precludes thoughts about early drinking, but it still fascinates in its own complex and brooding way, and it will take a half-decade or more before its message becomes clear.  (9/2014)

K&L Notes

A pillar of their lineup, Ridge has bottled Geyserville every year since 1966. Grapes are sourced from three adjoining vineyards on a contiguous strip of gravelly soil on the western edge of Alexander Valley. A traditional field blend, the wine is dominated by Zinfandel but is also marked by the inclusion of Carignane, Petite Sirah, and Mourvedre. The vineyards include vines of over 130 years old... the oldest that Ridge farms. Winemaker Eric Baugher describes the 2012 bottling as such: "Aromas of bramble fruit, wintergreen, licorice, and sweet toasted oak. Rich black cherry fruit on entry with elegant chalky tannins, gravel/rock, and ginger root. A layered, sensuous finish."

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Staff Image By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/9/2014 | Send Email
Usually I'm more of a fan of the Lytton Springs, but I think this year the Geyser has it beat. This is the best Geyserville that Ridge has ever made--a powerhouse Zin with intense chili spice and briary raspberry with a round finish and a floral, minty brightness.

Additional Information:



- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.3