Outliving Longevity Projections: The 1973 Geyserville

Today was another one of those great days when into my inbox comes a heartfelt and wondrous story about one of our wines, and how it found its way through the mists of time into someone else’s life. These moments are always a reminder of just how far a wine can travel, how significant a role it can play, and how even more magical it can make an already magical moment. And sometimes, it’s just plain great news to hear that a wine has simply withstood the trials of time. Add to the latter an excellent food pairing suggestion, and you’ve got in a nutshell the letter I’ve just received.

It begins:

“We had our last bottle of the ’73 Geyserville last night at a dinner party and it was great. Still plenty of fruit, good color and all the satisfaction that comes with drinking a well made mature wine.”

Mind you, I received this letter TODAY, and the letter references LAST NIGHT, meaning this was a 36+ year-old-wine! Astonishing for any wine, but all the more so for … gasp! … A California Zinfandel! Our writer actually has quite a little fun at Paul’s expense, who wrote the label notes in 1975, and gave a rather humble projection of longevity:

“The label said that we should wait at least three years before drinking the wine, but the extra 33 years didn’t hurt.”

Excellent! I love it!

The letter continues with a reference to what was had at table as a companion to this wine, and if ever a finer pairing was offered for a vintage Geyserville, I’d like to hear it!

“We had the wine with onion soup and steak frites maitre d’hotel from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook.”

The letter concludes with quite a touching line meant for Paul Draper, and it’s a sentiment I’d like to second:

“Thanks for making a great wine.”

Thanks indeed Paul, and thanks to you-know-who-you-are for writing us such a wonderful letter!



Categories: Food & Wine Pairing, History, Paul Draper, Ridge Memorabilia, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Vintage Wine Labels, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine Tales, Zinfandel

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2 replies

  1. Late Picked. 14.3% Alcohol. You really have to smile…

    What’s the story behind that basket logo? I’ve never noticed it on any bottles before.

    • It was David Bennion’s sort of personal symbol. Remind me to show you the memorial on our grounds; it’s a beautiful little display that includes the basket logo …

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