As we speak, the Ridge Vineyards winemakers — Paul Draper, Eric Baugher, John Olney — are engaged in a Live Virtual Tasting …
… sharing their impressions of four new releases: the 2010 Ponzo Vineyards Zinfandel, the 2010 Lytton Springs, the 2010 Lytton Estate Petite Sirah, and the 2009 Monte Bello.
This is something we do with our wholesale community twice a year; around the Spring and Fall Release cycle. For more information about this very unique event, please click the link below:
And to review my tasting notes from this morning’s wine preparations, please read on!
2010 Ridge Vineyards Ponzo Zinfandel
Sprightly bright and fresh on the nose; summertime-ripe and playful. Lifted, lambent, and luscious at front-of-palate, with sprigs of sparking acidity flashing down the middle. Short and aphoristic on the finish, with a lingeringly mouthwatering saporousness. In short; delightful as a summer dress flapping in the sun, delightful as bluegrass by a lakeside picnic, delightful as evening rain.
2010 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs
A mammalian sensuality drenches the aromatics with a near-feral eroticism, taunting the palate’s yearning concupiscence with its promise. The entry is crisp, linear, and forceful; no mysterious withholding here; the muscularity of its embrace is delineated with a sculptedly structured choreography and architecture. The voice blackens as the fruit develops, from authoritative and focused to a low throaty back-of-throat purr. One of the more savagely charismatic Lytton Springs offerings in years, this is a wine that will pursue your sensorial memories many ensuing evenings.
2010 Ridge VineyardsLytton Estate Petite Sirah
Le Vin Noir. This is Bogey in his office, gravitas in vintage black and white. Curls of smoke twining through an atmosphere heavy with the constantly enacted reconciliation of faith and cynicism. This is a philosopher’s wine; a philosopher of the streets, from the streets, for the streets. This is smoke and tar and mystery; the low keys on the piano; the low shots of clicking hills on mist-cloaked cobblestones. This is a wine of conviction, for a drinker of conviction. This is for those who take their fruit black, their tannins firm, and their meals hearty.
2009 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello
A volume of poetry one comes back to year after year after year; dog-eared pages turned to again and again; shared with friends, bequeathed to children, unearthed in trunks. This is the timelessness of language in liquid form. In its astonishing panoply of components — earth, spice, fruit, herbality, root, mineral — one finds metaphor for the spectrum of human feeling: love, hope, faith, spirit, soul. But this is not a poetry of obfuscation or irony, not a poem of internality, this is language as giver of new life; a poetry of passion and inclusion. This is the folk wisdom of Ted Kooser and the living, breeding, scalding honesty of Sharon Olds; this is the impassioned ignition of Amiri Baraka and the natural-life return of Mary Oliver; this is the jazz of William Matthews and the pathos of Wislawa Szymborska; the dignity and heartbreak of Hsu Chao and the quiet elevation of Han-Shan. This is a fascinating wine in every sense and stretch of the word.