We had Sat night (9/28/19) a Ridge Dinner w/ Marilyn Reisen & David Amadia:
1. Ridge GrenacheBlanc AdelaidaVnyd/PasoRobles (75% GB/15% Picpoul/10% Rouss; 14.0%; bttld: May 2019;
Drk: 3/19-3/24-3/25: EB) 2018
: Med.light gold color; fairly strong honeysuckle/floral/GB light vanilla/
oak quite fragrant nose; lightly tart strong GB/floral/honeysuckle/gardenias light vanilla/oak flavor;
a quite attractive perfumed GB; great addition to the Ridge lineup. $32.00 (SFW&S)
2. Ridge Chard Estate MonteBelloEstate/SantaCruzMtns (100% Chard; 14.2%; bttld: 12/18;
Drk: 8/18: EB) 2017
: Med.gold color; very strong melony/Chard/lemony slight earthy some vanilla/toasty/
Am.oak quite fragrant nose; bit soft very strong melony/Chard/lemony/lemon curd modest Am.oak/vanilla/
toasty bit complex flavor; nicely done MB Chard and a bit more restrained & interesting than previous
MB Chards.
3. Ridge Calif Zin LyttonSprings DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (88% Zin/8% PetiteSirah/4% Grenache; 14.9%;
40% EstateVnyd/31% MapleVnyd/29% NortonRanch; bttld: 2/94; Drk: 2/94-?: PD) 1992
: Med.dark color w/
some bricking; rather cedary/pencilly/oldZin slight raspberry/Zin some dusty/OV bit complex nose; some
tart/tannic/dried out rather cedary/pencilly/oldZin bit metallic flavor w/ some tired/dried out tannins;
a rather interesting oldZin nose but little fruit left and pretty tired on the palate.
4. Ridge LyttonSprings DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (70% Zin/21% PetiteSirah/6% Carignane/3% Mataro;
14.4%; bttld: Jan 2014; Drk: 11/13-11/23: JO) 2012
: Very dark color; very strong very spicy/blackberry/Zin
light Am.oak/vanilla/cigar box some complex beautiful nose; fairly tart/tangy very spicy/blackberry/Zin/
raspberry/bright/high-toned modest Am.oak/cigar box/cedary some dusty/OV fairly smooth flavor w/ light
tangy tannins; loads of that classic LS/spicy blackberry fruit; a pretty classic LS just starting to
show some secondary character and moving into prime time.
5. Ridge PetiteSirah DynamiteHill YorkCreekVnyd/SpringMtnDist (94% PS/6% Zin; 14.7%; 39 brls;
bttld: 3/11; Drk: 12/10-12/20-12/22: JO) 2009
: Dark color w/ some bricking; beautiful peppery/PS/
quite spicy some Am.oak/vanilla bit earthy quite complex nose; soft quite smooth lightly peppery/PS/
dusty/OV somewhat complex flavor w/ light fairly smooth tannins; very long/lingering lightly peppery/PS/
spicy/bit blackberry ssome Am.oak rather dusty/OV finish w/ light smooth tannins; still has a few yrs
to go but is evolving quite nicely into a fairly complex mature PS.
6. Ridge PetiteSirah YorkCreek YorkCreekVnyd/SpringMtnDist (100% PS; 15.1%; 59 brls; bttld: 2/16;
Drk: 10/20-10/30: JO) 2014
: Very dark color; strong blackberry/PS/bit peppery rather vanilla/Am.oak bit
spicy/peppery nose; lightly tart/tangy fairly intense blackberry/PS bit pungent/licorice slight oafish flavor
w/ ample/hard tannins; very long bit oafish/rugged strong blackberry/PS/bit peppery finish; still quite a
youthful/rugged/bit oafish PS that as yrs to go.
7. Ridge Calif CabernetSauvignon MonteBello (EG; Bttld: Oct '76; 12.9%; Drk: 10/77-10/81-10/86: PD)
: Med.color w/ some bricking; slight bretty/horsecollar quite cedary/pencilly beautiful oldCab some
Bdx-like slight blackcurranty/Cab/fruit quite complex beautiful nose; bit tart/drying some bretty/
horsecollar rather cigar box/cedary/pencilly/oldCab slight herbal/Bdx-like complex flavor w/ light
drying tannins; a beautiful old Cab/rather Bdx-like/herbal nose but somewhat tired/dried out on the palate
and showing some obvious brett. $12.50 (BlairSwartz Cellar)
8. Ridge MonteBello MonteBelloEstateVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (72% CabSauv/25% Merlot/2% CabFranc/
1% PetiteVerdot; 13.0%; 166 tons from 105 acres; 42% selection; bttld: March 2001;
Drk: 1/01-1/11-1/21: PD) 1999
: Dark color w/ some bricking; strong herbal/CS/rather Bdx-like light
blackcurranty/CS rather complex lovely nose; bit tart lovely old-Bdx/cedary/bit herbal some earthy/loamy
complex flavor w/ light rather smooth/graceful tannins; very long/lingering rather herbal/Bdx-like/light
blackcurranty some cedary/pencilly quite smooth fairly complex finish; probably in a perfect place now
w/ lots of old-Bdx character; a lovely expression of a mature Calif Cab.
8a. Ridge Calif MonteBello MonteBelloVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (79% CS/10% Merlot/9% PetiteVerdor/2% CabFranc;
13.1%; 213 tons from 103 acres; 41% slctn; bttld April 2009; Drk: 2/09-2/19-2/29: EB) 2007
: Rather dark
color w/ no bricking; fairly strong blackcurranty/Cab slight herbal rather cedary/cigar box/bit smokey/oak
fairly complex lovely nose; light blackcurranty/Cab quite cigar box/cedary/oldCab slightly tired flavor w/
light/smooth/bit drying tannins; starting to show some lovely cedary/pencilly/old Cab character but seems
a bit tired/drying on the palate.
9. RidgeMonteBello MonteBelloEstateVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (72% CabSauv/28% Merlot/ 13.3%;
60 tons from 58 acres; 80% selection; bttld: June 2010; Drk: 3/10-3/20-3/35: EB) 2008
: Very dark color;
strong blackcurranty/CS/primary some smokey/Am.oak/cedary rather fragrant bit complex nose; strong primary/
blackcurranty/Cab/sligh herbal some cedary/pencilly/smokey/Am.oak fairly bit tart/hard flavor w/ some
hard/ripe tannins; starting to show some secondary character but still loads of primary blackcurranty
CS fruit; needs more age; seems a bit tight/closed right now; preferred this to the '07.
9a. Ridge MonteBello MonteBelloVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (72% CS/12% Merlot/10% PetiteVerdot/6% CabFranc;
13.7%; 83.7 tons from 60.7 acres; bttld May 2018; calcium carbonate, 0.7% water addition;
Drk: 4/18-4/48: EB) 2016
: Very dark color; beautiful very strong blackcurranty/CS/big fruit bit
coffee bean/cedary/toasty/Am.oak bit complex classic youthful MB nose; fairly tart/tangy strong
blackcurranty/Cab/slight herbal some dusty/earthy strong toasty/coffee bean/oak bit earthy/herbal
very structured flavor w/ ample rugged/ripe tannins; a classic young MB that has yrs to go.
10. Ridge Calif Zin LateHrvst I EsolaRanch/ShenandoahVlly (16%; bttld July 1979; 7 1/2 brls; SaH: 29.5%;
RS: 0.8%; Drk: 10/79-5/81: PD) 1976
: Med.light rather browning color; strong raisened/pruney bit cedary/
smokey/oldZin/pencilly slight Amador/briary rather complex nose; bit tired rather oldZin/cedary/cigar box/
smokey/pencilly lightly sweet slight briary/Amador/zin some raisened/pruney bit complex flavor w/
light drying/metallic tannins; the raisened/pruney character pretty much dominates but still a bit of
ripe/briary/AmadorZin fruit peeking out; in much better shape than the CarnerosCreek LatePick '76 I had
a month ago; an interesting old relic but not a lot of pleasure. $8.90 (BlairSwartz Cellar)
11. Ridge Calif LyttonEstate LateHrvst DryCreekVlly (100 yr old vines; 50% Zin/PetiteSirah; 17.3%;
7 brls; bttld: Dec 2000; SaH: 32.1%; RS: 1.2%; Drk: 10/00-10/05: PD) 1999
: Very dark color; intense
blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/slight spicy bit essence-like no raisened/pruney slight alcoholic some complex/
cedary beautiful nose; lightly off-dry strong blackberry/boysenberry/jammy/ripeZin lightly spicy light
Am.oak/vanilla slight dusty/OV slight overripe/late hrvsty slight cedary/pencilly/oldZin fairly complex
smooth flavor w/ light tannins & no raisened/pruney character; quite a beautiful example of an old LateHrvst
Zin that shows no signs of falling apart.
12. Ridge Zin Essence BenitoDusiRanch/PasoRobles (14.7%; 14 1/2 brls; bttld: Nov 2018;
Drk: 8/18-8/33: EB) SaH: 38.1%; RS: 12.0%) 2017
: Very dark/near black color; very intense boysenberry/
blackberry/Zin/Smucker's blackberry jam/some spicy/huge fruit bit dusty/OV some Am.oak/vanilla slight
LateHrvsty lovely nose; bit soft slight alcoholic very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/spicy/blackberry
compote bit dusty/OV slight Am.oak/vanilla quite sweet flavor; huge fruit & essence of blackberry; a bit
simpler than the '91 but should make great old bones; a bit LateHrvsty but very little raisened/pruney
character; wonderful Essence.
13. Ridge Calif Zin Essence DusiVnyd/PasoRobles (13.9%; bttld Aug 92; SaH: 39%; RS: 9.2%;
Drk: 7/92-7/02: PD; 6'th Essence in 30 yrs) 1991
: Very dark color w/ scant bricking; beautiful intense
blackberry/boysenberry/Zin slight vanilla/oak some Smucker's boysenberry jam bit dusty/OV very slight
raisened quite aromatic some complex nose; quite sweet very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/spicy/
some jammy lighe Am.oak/vanilla bit Smucker's blackberry jam/blackberry compote slight balsamic essence
rather complex flavor w/ little tannins & no raisened/pruney/LaateHrvst character; very long/lingering
very sweet intense blackberry/boysenberry/jammy/quite spicy blackberry compote/essence fairly complex
finish w/ little tannins; very much essence of blackberries w/ little raisened/pruney character; not at
all overipe; should go another 10 yrs before the raisened character starts to come to the forefront;
much like tucking into a slice of CaroleMeredith's blackberry pie; best Zin Essence I can recall having.
A LarryArchibald contribution.
More pishlarkle from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. Long time friend, MarilynReisen, and RobSavoie were in town for SantaFe W&C Fiesta. Also was DavidAriata,
Prez of Ridge, and his wife Allison. So Laura organized a Ridge dinner at Pig+Fig for Sat night after the
GrandTasting. It was a small group of 18, mostly folks in my wine group. The above notes are a bit spare
because there was a lot of chin-waggin' going on. Even though most were only one btl each, Dustin & Karen
did a yeoman job on the Somm side and all got a good taste of each. And, needless to say, Laura's food was
absolutely superb.
There were a few wines that were on the shakey side, but most pretty much performed as expected. It was
a particular treat to have 5 different MonteBellos. MB is the only remaining Cab that I buy, save for the
DryCreekVnyds ones. Though on the pricey side now, they still represent good value compared to their Calif
2. Whites: I was sorta blindsided by the GB when it showed up in NM. I was totally unaware the were doing
a GB. It turns out that the were wanting to add to their white wine portfolio and, at the behest of DaveGates,
they lined up some GB out of AdelaidaVnyd in Paso. At present, the wine is only offered to their distrubutors,
not to their WebSite or WineClub customers. It is, I suspect, an incentive for restaurants to get more Ridge
wines onto their wine lists.
I really liked this new MB Chard. In the past, I've felt them to be a bit overripe and slammed w/ Am.oak.
This one seemed somewhat more restrained and balanced than previous efforts.
3. BlairSwartzCellar: Two of these old wines were contributions from Stacey, his daughter, to this Ridge event.
Blair was a big lover of the Ridge wines and he still has a fair amount in his stash, particularly of MonteBellos.
4. DusiEssence: I was surprised to see the Essence was from Dusi vnyd in Paso. The recent essences have been
from Geyserville or LS vnyds. I think this '91, tasted later, was the last Dusi Essence they did. Ridge had made
a number of Essences over the yrs, from BuenaVistaVnyd/Lodi, from StoneRanch/AlexVlly, mostly from Dusi, from
Geyserville, from LS. BeniDusi was a very meticulous grape grower. When they made this last DusiEssence, Beni
told PaulDraper "no mas". Beni was convinced his fellow Paso growers were laughing their heads off at him for
leaving those Zin grapes out so long. So now the DusiEssence is back. Great news.
The two Essences were very similar in their very intense blackberry fruit, but the '91 was rather more
complex & interesting. Neither showed much of the raisened/pruney character this kind of wine can oft show.
I think that probably Paso is ideally suited for making these Essence wines.