Great slew of Ridge information out there lately, in terms of contemporary tasting notes and other such items of interest to the Ridge-O-Philes among ye; some of it is Post-Zap commentary, some of it is Post-Ridge Events commentary, and some of it is just plain self-generated commentary, but it’s all good, all interesting, and all most appreciated! Here’s a lil’ round-up of some quite interesting articles out there:
For an excellently thorough look at a very fine line up of Ridge zinfandels from a very fine wine blog, look no further than “The Great Ridge Zinfandel Line-Up: Or, Yet Another Reason Why California is the Best State” over on Vinicultured: A Wine Blog. Here is what was tasted and notated:
For those of you who might prefer the more technical side of oeno-literature, there is an absolutely fascinating article currently available over on “Wines & Vines” by Tim Patterson entitled “With Fermenters, Does Size Matter?” Tim is a wine writer and home wine-maker, or garagiste, shall we say, and this is a fascinating look at the matter of fermentor sizes, and the effect this has on resulting wines. Our very own Paul Draper makes an excellent appearance in the article, and while I encourage you to dive in and read the whole thing, I’ve included Paul’s portion of the content below:
Paul Draper at Ridge Vineyards says that Ridge tries to fit the fermenter to the size of the parcel being harvested — a portion of a particular vineyard that comes ripe at the same time. The Ridge facilities have several sizes available — all of them small by Lockwood standards, not because of some philosophy of tanks, but rather a philosophy geared toward careful parcel picking.
The Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet ripens in patches of maybe 1- to 5-tons, and the same is true for some portions of the Zinfandel harvest from Lytton Springs and Geyserville. The Dusi Ranch vineyard in Paso Robles, on the other hand, is more rolling than ridge-y, so its lots of Zinfandel tend to be routed to larger fermenters.
The array of relatively small fermenters offers more chance for control and probably better extraction, Draper believes. He adds an interesting historical observation: The current fondness for small fermenters is partly a reaction to the early days of California winemaking, when huge vessels produced uneven fermentations and poor extraction.
And I’d of course be remiss if I didn’t mention to you that, as it turns out, Ridge was not just Day 23 over on Jerry Bullfrog’s Wine Stash, we were days 23-29! Meaning there is a lot of excellent reading on our wines to be found on this site; in case you didn’t catch my initial discovery of this blog, you can find out about it here; in short, it’s a great premise for a blog, and something very well worth reading, both for the Ridge commentary, and, well, everything else! But if you want to sample some idiosyncratically intensive and endearingly left-of-center contemporary tasting notes on the following wines: the 2007 Late Harvest Dusi Ranch Zinfandel, the 2005 Lytton West Syrah, the 2003 Geyserville, the 2006 Buchignani Ranch Carignane, the 2007 East Bench, the 2004 Dynamite Hill Petite Sirah, the 1992 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay, and the 2006 Monte Bello, then you need to read the Bullfrog!
Thanks for reading, and check back shortly for a follow-up round-up of Post-Zap commentary!
Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Chardonnay, Lytton, Monte Bello, Paul Draper, Petite Sirah, Press Reviews, Rhone varietals, Syrah, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Vineyards and Oenology, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine Blogs, Winemaking, Zinfandel