One of the real joys of my job here at Ridge/Monte Bello is reading the wonderful e-mails that come through our inbox chronicling the experiences that people have had with our wines. Sometimes heartwarming, sometime instructive, always appreciated, together these correspondences comprise a jigsaw puzzle that, when assembled, paints a beautiful picture of the roles our wines play in people’s lives.
I always appreciate the opportunity to read these mails, and I am particularly pleased when individuals agree to let me post their thoughts and comments for our readers to enjoy. Today is one such occasion when it is my great pleasure to share an experience enjoyed by one Gregory Frank, a Ridge customer who recently tasted not one but two bottles of our 2002 Stone Ranch.
For those of you who may not be familiar with this wine, this was actually quite an important release, as it was the debut of the Stone Ranch designation! Only 40 barrels were made, and it was not distributed to retail or restaurant accounts; rather, it was only made available through our ATP Wine Club, adding even more cachet to this already quite exclusive offering.
The Stone Ranch vineyards are located on the western edge of Alexander Valley, near the Geyserville vineyards, and are surrounded by river rocks tilled from the soil over many years. It’s a warm day-cool night microclimate, with very gravelly soil, and the zinfandel vines there were planted in 1988 and 1994.
When Paul Draper wrote the label notes for this wine in December of 2003, his prediction for longevity and development was a year or two of bottle age for softening, and an additional 3 or so years to achieve full development. So in theory, based on Paul’s prediction, the wine should have peaked nearly a year ago.
However, I am happy to report that does not appear to be the case! After tasting through two bottles, Gregory wrote the following:
“I just drank my second 2002 Stone Ranch Zinfandel. What a wonderful wine. Perfectly balanced and drinking beautifully. This is an elegant wine.”
So if anyone out there is holding on to any bottles of this wine, it sounds to me like it might be a good time to pull the cork on one!
Cheers to Gregory for sending his thoughts across, and cheers to the 2002 Stone Ranch! Anyone else tasted this wine recently? Enquiring minds want to know!