2005 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Sonoma County Zinfandel

SKU #1032568 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Some years back Ridge removed the varietal identifier from its Geyserville red wine made substantially from Zinfandel but a field-blend in reality. But whatever they call it, it has been and continues to be a terrific Zinfandel by any standard. Its deep but still developing aromas of berries, brownies and sweet oak give way to more open and accessible ripe-berry flavors, and, contrary to the latter-day norm, the wine is free of excessive ripeness or evident heat. It has the depth to enjoy now, but given Geyserville's track record for longevity and the wine's nascent character, it is wise to cellar away a few bottles.  (1/2008)

93 points Vinous

 (77% zinfandel, 17% carignane and 6% petite sirah) Dark red. Seductively perfumed aromas of raspberry, cherry, lavender and minerals lifted by exotic Asian spices. Seems almost light for zinfandel, with a silky texture and deep, sweet red and dark berry flavors. The tannins are nicely folded into the fruit, creeping gently out on the finish. A very impressive blend, with superb balance and flavor definition. (JR)  (11/2007)

Jancis Robinson

 So clarety! Looks quite evolved with its definitively ruby colour. Bloody smells. Sweet fruit that is also miraculously fresh. Lovely balance. Very fine and feminine. Ready.  (3/2010)

Wine Spectator

 This red is exotic, and pushes the ripeness envelope, but it's appealing for its briary wild berry and pepper aromas and zesty black raspberry, licorice and black walnut flavors. Zinfandel, Carignane and Petite Sirah. (TF)  (5/2008)

K&L Notes

Grown in three adjoining vineyards on a stretch of gravelly soils on the western edge of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Aged for 14 months in air-dried American oak, this wine also includes 17% Carignane, from 120-year old vines, and a touch of Petite Sirah to soften the Zinfandel's firm structure. A traditional field blend, the vineyards include vines over 130 years old.

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Price: $44.99
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- 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.


- 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.
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).