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A Pair Of New Allocations From A California Icon - 04/21/2017 - Cabernet Sauvignon (domestic)

It’s always with great anticipation that we await the new releases from Ridge Vineyards as few wineries have the ability to charms us so consistently from one vintage to the next. Most recently we brought in the 2014 Estate Cab and the 50th Anniversary of the Geyserville Zin - both of which left us absolutely floored. Ridge, long known for their commitment to what they call “Pre-Industrial” winemaking, crafts wines of unparalleled purity and this is really came through in these current releases. At a recent staff tasting of the 2014 Cab, we already knew we were going to love the wine, it was just a question of how much. The resounding answer was “a lot.” So much in fact that many came away saying it was among the best Estate Cabs they’ve ever had. This is no small praise as this is a wine that has been on the top of our list for as long as we can remember. As for the 50th anniversary Geyserville Zin, there’s no doubt it’s sure to garner many a fan. This single-site bottling in so many ways typifies what Zin should be. Packed with wild dark fruits, brambly flavors, and just the right mix of spice it hits all of its marks perfectly. While the press for this pair has yet to hit, we anticipate scores will be off the hook as both are top-class renditions that over-deliver on every level. Ridge, like the trusty locomotive it is, continues to gather steam, and for proof one need look for further than this stunning pair.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2015 Ridge "Geyserville 50th Anniversary" Alexander Valley Zinfandel 95 $37.99 View
2014 Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 93 $54.99 View

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2015 Ridge "Geyserville 50th Anniversary" Alexander Valley Zinfandel ($37.99)

95 points Connoisseurs Guide: "Sporting a deep mix of dark fruits that runs from cassis to blackberries along with complexing elements of cocoa and earthy spice, this year's edition of the Ridge Geyserville evokes all the accustomed richness that we have come to expect. It is a well-extracted and eminently ageworthy offering whose tannic, youthfully tight structure warrants a wait, but its astringency is never out of bounds and its insistently fruity finish is the hallmark of a wine guaranteed to repay five or more years of keeping with great dividends. *Three Stars*" (05/2017)

94 points Vinous: "It's hard to believe that Ridge's iconic Zinfandel Geyserville celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2015. Today, the wine is quite deep, powerful and unyielding. Of course, the low yields of the vintage have a lot to do with that. I am not surprised winemaker Eric Baugher decided to give the 2015 a few more months in barrel, as there is a lot of stuffing here. The interplay of fruit, aromatics and acidity is compelling. Red cherry jam, pomegranate, rose petal and woodsmoke infuse the finish. The 2015 is going to need time to be at its best, but it is impressive. (AG)" (08/2017)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Another wine from this estate that has a terrific track record for aging beautifully, the 2015 Geyserville checks in as a blend of 70% Zinfandel, 15% Carignan, 12% Petite Sirah, and the balance Alicante Bouschet. It offers elegant, lively notes of spice plums, leather, white pepper and brambly herbs in a medium-bodied, silky, charming, and undeniably elegant style. It stays fresh and lively on the palate, and like most of these 2015 Zinfandel releases, is already a joy to drink. (JebDunnuck.com)" (08/2017)

90 points Wine Spectator: "Big but polished, with floral black cherry and roasted dill aromas and rich, slightly earthy flavors of dark plum, licorice and spicy clove. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Best after 2018. (TF)" (06/2017)

K&L Notes: 70% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet. Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel in every year since 1966.

Staff ImageIvan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 20, 2017

In Ridge's 50th year, they are still proving why they are considered some of the best Zin producers in California. The Geyserville (70% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, and 3% Alicante Bouschet) is a gorgeously dark and balanced example of what they do so well, showing warm baking spice, black and white pepper, and melted licorice on the nose, while the velvety strawberry and blackberry flavors coat the palate. The tannins are sweet but not without grip, and there is a vein of mouth-watering acidity that keeps things lifted. Incredible value.

Staff ImageMari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 20, 2017

The 2015 Geyserville is a quintessential example of how great a vineyard and how amazing this wine has been for the last 50 years. Expressive notes of dark red berry and blackberry, clean bramble and savory baking spice explode on the nose but that's what you should expect from any zin-based field blend. The Geyserville is leagues above the rest with its rich, full bodied yet structured and lifted palate. It has fruit and texture while also being simultaneously savory and salty. And the final kicker of this already fabulous wine is the bright, quenching acidity on the finish that lets you know how well this elegant and structured wine will age.

Staff ImageJordan Stone | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 20, 2017

If anyone has ever asked themselves what is Great California Zinfandel ? Here is the answer . The Geyserville 50th is beautiful a dark purple and has dark fruit flavor with some bramble and earth. Lush & smooth with lift. drink now or lay down

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 20, 2017

Ridge is without a doubt one of the best producers of Zinfandel in California and every year the Geyserville bottling is may favorite. This year proved that once again that pound for pound the Geyserville is my favorite Zinfandel in the store. What I love about this bottling is that there is always a beautiful acid core that drives this wine forward. This year shows lovely cool red fruit with notes of red berry and some spice. The 2015 vintage has excellent structure and like all of Ridge should age but is drinking so well right now it is hard to think about aging when you just want to start drinking.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 06, 2017

It's Geyserville's 50th anniversary, and the wine is everything you love about Geyserville. Always one of my favorite Zinfandel bottlings from Ridge, Geyserville is full, rich and luscious, without being flabby or sweet. The 2015 is already fairly open and expressive, with boisterous black fruit and subtle pepper spice. I can't wait to see where this vintage goes with a little time, though. There is plenty of structure and elegance here that will certainly make for great aging.

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2014 Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($54.99)

93 points Vinous: "One of the many highlights in this range, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is terrific. The effects of the drought and resulting heat stress come through in the wine's structural feel and bold, incisive flavors. Even with all of its intensity, the 2014 has a certain silkiness in its tannins that makes it approachable today. Of course, the 2014 will be even better in another few years, but opening a bottle on the early side is not a crime. The 2014 spent 27 months in French oak. Readers who are looking for a more affordable alternative to Ridge's iconic Monte Bello should consider the 2014 Estate. Look for the Estate to be a real overachiever in 2014 as well as one of the best - possibly the best - California Cabernet in its price range. (AG)" (08/2017)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Moving to the Bordeaux blends, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate from Ridge is an inky colored, ripe, downright sexy Cabernet that gives up ample notes of blueberries, cassis, vanilla bean, and licorice. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, this full-bodied 2014 has a big mid-palate, good freshness and lots of chalky tannin on the finish. It has plenty of baby fat currently, but should round into form with 3-4 years of bottles age. (JebDunnuck.com)" (08/2017)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Made in a style that demands patience and cellaring, this is taut, firm, dense and sturdy. Not showing much now, but like good Bordeaux, this is built to age. (JL)" (07/2017)

K&L Notes: A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, this intense yet balanced wine offers blackcurrant, cherries, clove, toasted oak, and cocoa. Brambly, rich, supple yet firm, this lovely will bring pleasure tonight or for years to come.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 17, 2017

Ridge Vineyards wines always seem to deliver. This 2014 Estate Cab. is no exception. It offers nice dark fruits that are rich and delicious but it is not too ripe or jammy. It is a dry wine that is a classic California Cab. I think that it will be best with hearty foods.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 06, 2017

It seems like only the other day we were all crooning over the 2013 releases from Ridge, yet here is another pristine Cabernet from the "Estate" line. 2014 keeps up the same excellent quality and depth that we have all come to expect from the Estate Cabernets, showing lovely resin, rosemary, and green olive aromas, with excellent, full-bodied dark fruit, lithe tannins, and well-placed acidity that highlights rather than overshadows the fruit. I highly encourage all of you to pick up a bottle or two or six! Always under-rated next to the more famous "Montebello", the Estate Cabernet is quite exquisite, and one not to be missed!

Staff ImageScott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 06, 2017

At our staff tasting of 4/4/2017, this (and three other wines) were my favorites out of about 30 selections. Super big nose of black cherry and boysenberry. On the palate, however, super structured with fine tannin and oak. Black plum, dark red fruits and the (just right) amount of earth and tobacco make this one of the best vintages of this wine that I have ever tasted.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

I've been buying this wine every year since I first started working at K&L and this 2014 edition might be my favorite edition thus far. It's absolutely lovely. There's plenty of plush plum and dark berry fruit, but with that acidity and earthy spice that make Santa Cruz Mountain cabernet what it is. It's full and supple on the palate, but again that weight doesn't overwhelm or throw off the balance in any way. This is a great mid-range bottle of serious CA cabernet.