All Zinfandel, All Day, Saturday! San Francisco Zinfandel Experience, Here We Come!

Quick Fix: The Zinfandel Experience is this Saturday, and Ridge Vineyards will be there! To jump to event details, just click here: ZAP

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Ridge Vineyards, when it comes to Zinfandel, ZAP, and the Zinfandel Experience, is not unlike the North Pole, in that we essentially work all year long in anticipation of ONE BIG event. For Santa & Co., it’s Christmas, of course. And for Ridge & Co., it’s this weekend, ZAP’s Zinfandel Experience.

Now, rest assured, all of Santa Draper’s Wine Elves have been hard at work all year long, making bottle after bottle of Zinfandel. Tall Zins, small Zins, fruit-forward Zins, rustic Zins, a merry Zin to all, and to all a merry Zin!

And you bet we’re makin’ lists and checkin’ them twice! So I hope you’ve been good, otherwise, it’s a can of TAB in your stocking tomorrow!

Oh, of COURSE you’ve been good! No TAB for you, it’s Zin time!

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Now, the event is going to be in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (San Francisco), and it’s going to be held in one of the most beautiful places in the city (The Presidio), and we’re going to be pouring some of the most beautiful wines in the world (Ridge Zinfandels), and you’re going to look just beautiful tasting wine with us!

And by us, I mean US! I mean Paul Draper himself! I mean Eric Baugher himself! I mean John Olney himself! I mean a serious Ridge entourage!

And all you need is the inside line on what we’ll be pouring. And I just happen to have that double top-secret info for you. Right here. Right now. Dig.

Who: Ridge Vineyards

Where: Reserve & Barrel Tasting Track

What: The following (with winemaker’s notes included)…

1.) 2011 Ridge Vineyards Carmichael Zinfandel

This forty-acre vineyard, named for the 19th century landowner, Archibald Carmichael, was restored by Ridge starting in 2000. The oldest vines were kept in production, while fallow areas were replanted. From west to east, the soil changes from gravel to clay loam. Harvesting for the first time, we noticed significant differences in wines from the two soils. This year’s selection includes vines that lie at the transition between the two. One parcel is a vineyard blend; another is planted, in separate rows, to petite sirah and zinfandel. The remaining four parcels are old-vine zinfandel from the clay soils to the east. Low yields and unusually cool weather developed deep color and rich tannins in the wine. Fully ripe, its lovely fruit can best be enjoyed over the next six to eight years.

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2.) 2012 Ridge Vineyards Jimsomare Zinfandel

Winter ended abruptly in February, prompting bud-break and the start of the growing season. Fortunately, a few late spring storms provided sufficient water to get the vines through a dry summer. This is our coolest zinfandel-growing site, and is always the last picked, yet this year it ripened fully when half our Sonoma zinfandels were still on the vine. Elegant and complex, this superb wine will develop fully over the next ten to twelve years.

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3.) 2012 Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel

Despite a second year of low rainfall, this ridge-top vineyard set a heavy crop. Fortunately, a hot summer ensured a ripe, albeit delayed, harvest; we picked from September 25 to October 1. Following fermentation, five of the seven blocks were selected and combined. For definition and added spice, we increased the amount of new and one-year-old oak. After twelve months in barrel, the wine is elegant and redolent of red fruit. Enjoyable on release, it will develop fully over the next four to five years.

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4.) 2012 Ridge Vineyards Ponzo Zinfandel

This is our tenth vintage from Bob Ponzo’s vineyard in the cool Russian River Valley. There, despite a warm summer, the vines ripened slowly and evenly. We harvested the three blocks on October 7 and 18, and fermented them separately. After malolactic, we combined Old Vines and Front blocks, then racked to barrel for twelve months’ aging. Abundant fruit, spice, and floral aspects have integrated to produce a savory wine with soft, round texture. This rich, full zinfandel will be at its best over the next six to seven years.

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5.) Ridge Vineyards 2012 Lytton Springs

After two unseasonably cool summers, July alone saw eight days over 100˚. In late August, milder temperatures prevailed, providing perfect conditions for a ripe —but not overripe—vintage. Fermentation brought out plentiful color and tannin. During aging, we added wine from one hundred-year-old vines on Hill Five for depth and structure. Spice, brambly fruit, and fine tannins characterize this excellent wine. Enjoyable upon release, it will evolve over the next ten years.

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6.) 2012 Ridge Vineyards Geyserville

A dry winter, mild spring, and warm summer at first advanced ripening, but heavy autumn fogs slowed progress. Harvest began September 17, finishing in mid-October. Grapes from the individual parcels were crushed to separate fer­mentors, some fitted with grids for submerged-cap fermentation. All were pumped over daily, drawing out rich color and full body. Malolactics were complete by November, when thirteen of the seventeen parcels were selected. This superb vintage will be most enjoyable over the next ten to fifteen years.

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And don’t forget the Terroir Track either! We won’t be there to host, but an estimable quorum of deeply qualified Sommeliers will be on hand to represent, and they’ll have a lovely roster of wines on hand to share; dig these!

2012 Geyserville

2012 Lytton Springs

2012 East Bench Zinfandel

2012 York Creek Kite Hill Zinfandel

2012 Paso Robles Zinfandel

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And that’s the scoop!

But, if you need additional specs, just check the ZAP website, here: ZAP

And with that, I say, Shazam!

I mean, ZAP!

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Categories: Events & Photographs, Geyserville, Lytton Springs, Paul Draper, RIDGE Staff, Special Offerings, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Tasting Flights, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Viticultural Salmagundi, Zinfandel

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