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How does an iconic winery follow up on a legendary anniversary bottling of one of its signature wines from a terrific vintage? It is a tough act to follow, for sure, but if the said winery has pristine terroir, healthy vines, a skilled winemaking team and a little luck from the weather gods, lightning can strike twice, those big shoes can be filled, and magic can be made in the bottle! This scenario played out at Ridge Vineyards and the result happens to be today's Two-Pack Special, the 2016 Ridge Vineyards Geyserville Alexander Valley!
From Ridge Vineyards, one of the "Grand Cru" properties of California, Geyserville is home to the winery's oldest vines. Ridge has bottled the Geyserville Proprietary Red every year since 1966. The grapes are sourced from three adjoining vineyards on a continuous strip of gravelly soil on the western edge of Alexander Valley. The "Old Patch" section of the vineyard contains vines that are more than 130 years of age. With a pedigree like this, it is no wonder that Geyserville represents one of the best values in blue-chip California red wine. (from winery notes)
The 2016 Geyserville is a blend of 73% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet grapes that were sustainably farmed, hand-harvested and fermented with native yeast. The wine was aged in a combination of new and seasoned American oak barrels for 12 months. Its deep color and ripe red and black fruit aromas are harbingers of the plethora of flavors that await on the palate: plum, brambly black cherry, and raspberry, with subtle hints of mint and gravelly earth weaving their way around all that luscious fruit. Firm but yielding tannins present themselves on the mid-palate and last through the long finish. Check out the press!
The Wine Advocate (May 2018): 95 Points.
“The 2016 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine is a real success this year, bursting from the glass with an exuberant bouquet of sweet cherries, blackberries, and plums, with subtle hints of the licorice and spice to come with age, and a subtle framing of sweet new oak. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a lovely core of ripe, succulent fruit and beautifully fine-grained structuring tannins. The finish is long and pure. There are 23 different grape varieties co-planted in the Geyserville vineyard, but in 2016, Zinfandel dominates at 73%, followed by 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet.” – William Kelley
JebDunnuck.com (June 2018): 95 Points.
“The 2016 Geyserville is the usual Zinfandel-dominated blend and includes 17% Carignan, 7% Petite Sirah, and 3% Alicante Bouschet. It offers a gorgeous bouquet of ripe red and black cherries, caramelized plums, toasted spices, and exotic flowers. This gives way to a seamless, medium to full-bodied, elegant Geyserville that has plenty of intensity, sweet tannin, and perfect balance. This beauty just glides over the palate and is one of the more approachable vintages of this cuvée I can remember. Nevertheless, it will keep for at least a decade. It’s a great wine.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Vinous Media (August 2017): 91-94 Points.
“The 2016 Zinfandel Geyserville is bright, lifted and decidedly medium in body. The flavors are distinctly red toned and the acids are bright. Sweet red cherry, red plum, mint and floral notes add nuance, but it is the wine’s overall energy that really makes an impression. Even at this early stage, the 2016 Geyserville is a knock-out.” —Antonio Galloni
Producer Name: Ridge Vineyards
Old/New World: New World
Country of Origin: United States
Region: North Coast
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Quality Designation: AVA
Grape Varietals: 73% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet
Product Type: Wine
Wine Style: Fuller Body Red
Viticultural Features: Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested estate-grown
Winemaking Techniques: Native yeast fermentation, oak barrel aging, minimum sulfur
Winemaker: Eric Baugher
Pack/Size: 12/750 ml
Container Type: Glass Bottle
Closure Style: Natural Cork