1999 Ridge Vineyards "Nervo" Sonoma County Late-Picked Zinfandel
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Readers looking for a Zinfandel made in the style of Henri Bonneau's famed Chateauneuf du Pape Reserve des Celestins should check out Ridge's 1999 Zinfandel Nervo Late Picked (ATP). A blend of 92% Zinfandel and 8% Petite Sirah, with only .2% residual sugar, this dry wine is made in an enormously concentrated, full-bodied style. It offers huge layers of blackberry and black cherry fruit intertwined with meat, earth, smoke, and underbrush. Formidably endowed, with enormous amounts of glycerin, this powerful yet supple, accessible 1999 is a tour de force in winemaking. Readers on Ridge's mailing list who enjoy large-scaled wines should be sure to latch onto a few bottles of this gem. (RP)
Pushing ripeness to the limit without exceeding the speed limit, this is one ripe, tight, rich wine, with scents of chocolate and blackberry. Shows some heat on the finish. The label makes it clear it's late-picked, making it shy of late-harvest.
Frank and Marie Nervo left Italy's Veneto for the United States in the early 1890s. Like many such Italian pioneers to northern California, they settled at the Italian Swiss Colony in Asti. In 1896, they were able to purchase two hundred and fifty acres south of Geyserville; it included ten acres of hillside vineyard. They planted more vines and, in 1908, built a square, two-story stone winery, which they named Venezia, after their home region. This wine comes from the younger vines, as well as the hillside of old mixed zinfandel the family still owns - over one hundred years after their original purchase. This fine, well-structured zinfandel is rich in briary fruit and exotic old-vine spice.