I have been lucky enough to have acquired, over time, 3 different vintages of Ridge Geyserville. This is the winery's description of the Geyserville vineyard:
First RIDGE Geyserville: 1966
Location: Western edge of Alexander Valley, Sonoma County.
Soils: Gravelly loam
Age of vines: 40-year-old zinfandel, 12 acres.
11-year-old zinfandel, 15 acres.
121-year-old mixed blacks, 5 acres.
21-year-old petite sirah, 5 acres.
11-year-old petite sirah, 3.5 acres.
111-year-old carignane, 7 acres.
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned.
Yields: 1-3 tons/acre
Climate: Occasional morning fog, warm days with frequent evening breezes.
This particular vineyard is owned by Leo & Evelyn Trentadue.
Michael Barar so nicely provided us with a bottle of 2005 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Chardonnay, which just so happened to have been named #2 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2007. Check out this pdf file on the vineyard. The color was pure golden straw. On the nose were aromas of cream, lemon curd, kaffir lime & orange. The palate showed minerals, lemon, fresh bright acid, lemon leaf & a long long finish.
Okay, so here goes.
First up is the 2001 Geyserville. It held a purple core that stretched to a ruby tinted rim. The nose held aromas of fig, soil, blackberry, black raspberry & licorice. What immediately struck me about the palate was the vibrant acid, it was so fresh & lively. Flavors of blackberry liqueur, spice & star anise led into firm tannins. I wish I had a few more bottles of this because it will continue to develop nicely.
Next was the 2002. The core was purple colored leaning to a ruby-pink rim. The nose displayed fig, blueberry, raspberry & milk chocolate. On the palate were firm grained tannins, light dustiness, flavors of cocoa powder, raspberry & tannins that hit the hard palate on the roof of my mouth.
The 2003 held a darker color than the 2002. Aromas of dark chocolate covered raspberry with smoke & red currant leaped out of the glass. The palate was tight & needs time to develop. Aromas of fresh red fruit was slightly diminished but there was evidence of a great wine that just needed some bottle age.
Last but not least (thanks to Richie & Meagan) was the 2004. The color was slightly more translucent than the 2003, almost a pure ruby color. The nose was very elegant with light cinnamon, lavender, rosemary, fennel & brown sugar. A fresh bright acid, reminiscent of the 01, drove a palate that was drier than the 02 or 03. Flavors of licorice, pretty red & black fruit drifted on a long finish that goes on & on. Wow.
Overall it was an eye opening experience. Throughout their subtle differences the family resemblance & terroir of Geyserville was evident. I hope I get to participate in many more vertical tastings.
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