Located on the western edge of Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, Geyserville vineyard was Ridge’s first source of red wine grapes, aside from Monte Bello. The combination of Geyserville’s climate, gravelly soils, and varietal mix (Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Alicante, Mataro, etc.) imparts elegance and definition not usually associated with Zinfandel.
Does a “typical” Geyserville exist? Each vintage is unique, distinct, extraordinary. Common elements include the blackest of blackberry fruit, peppery spice, tar, and cedar. The term “layered” was invented for Geyserville. The wines evolve, re-inventing themselves in bottle, developing more nuance and complexity as years pass. The ’73 still shines. Go taste a Geyserville. Any vintage will do.
There aren’t any published reviews for the 2019 vintage yet but here is how excited everyone was with the 2018.
“The 2018 Geyserville is a blend of 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet. It’s incredibly alluring, offering up layers of warm, tricolored fruits and loads of spicy accents on the nose, with a dusty, mineral-tinged undercurrent that adds to its appeal. In the mouth, it’s generously fruited and fantastically juicy, its silt-like tannins providing just enough support, and it finishes very long and layered.”
96 points, Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, Feb 2021
“A wine that always delivers, the 2018 Geyserville from Ridge comes all from a single vineyard in the Alexander Valley and checks in as 68% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 10% Petite Sirah, and the rest Alicante Bouschet. It has a big, cedary bouquet of red and black plums, sandalwood, potpourri, and Asian spices that develops and fills out nicely with time in the glass. This carries to a more medium-bodied Zinfandel that has wonderful purity of fruit, present yet ripe tannins, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. This structured yet ethereal example of this cuvée ranks with the finest vintages to date. Drink it any time over the coming 10-15 years. 2020-2035.”
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck, May 2020
“The 2018 Geyserville is an infant. That much is obvious, especially in this lineup of otherwise more settled 2018s. Ripe Zinfandel flavors drive the overall profile. A blast of wild cherry, leather, tobacco, smoke, licorice, menthol and spice hit the palate first, followed by swaths of tannin and a touch of new oak that suggest the wine still needs time to come together. Readers should be in no rush. I am not sure the 2018 will ever be truly refined, as it is quite burly today. Aeration helps to some degree. The fermentations at Geyserville were slow to start and slow to finish. That longer time of extraction comes through in potent tannins that will likely always mark the wine.”
94+ points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Sept 2020
“The Geyserville vineyard isn’t much to look at, a relatively flat gravel wash with stones deposited by a river that ran through the valley long before vines arrived. The vines themselves have been here a long time, more than 130 years for the oldest. The Trentadue family owns the vineyard and has sold the fruit to Ridge since 1966; David Gates oversees the farming, working to sustain the vines, a field blend of zinfandel with Carignane, Petite Sirah and Mataro. The history of the vines and the farming come together in this 2018, an elegant California classic. It’s a silky red, a mineral bath of fine vine-wood tannins over complex fruit notes that only emerge days after the bottle is first opened—bergamot, raspberry and cherry skin in subtle, dark red warmth and equally subtle richness. This is a great vintage of Geyserville to treasure in your cellar for as long as you can wait—though it’s usually best to wait at least ten years from the vintage.”
94 points, Wine & Spirits, October 2020