a VERY rare & cool vertical for next week’s First Friday event!

First Friday.

One of my favorite recurring events here at Monte Bello.

It’s just so EASY! When is it? First Friday! Simple …

And it’s just so delicious!

There’s always a theme. A delicious theme. A delicious wine theme. The most delicious of the themes. The wine theme.

Often, it revolves around a new release. The release is the theme. Be the theme, release. Be the theme.

For February, the theme is the release. The release is the Carmichael. The Carmichael is the release. The release is the theme. The Carmichael is the theme.

What is the Carmichael? The Carmichael is the 2010 Ridge Vineyards Carmichael Zinfandel. And it is the new ATP Release.


And the February First Friday (Ah, the 3 Fs!) will be the debut. Meaning that February First Friday attendees will be among the VERY FIRST to try this VERY ANTICIPATED new release.

And to celebrate this new release, we’ll be sharing with our guests a very special and very rare three-vintage vertical of the Carmichael, with the new 2010 vintage being accompanied by 2007 and 2009 vintages as well!


This is, hopefully needless to say, a quite lovely tasting opportunity (remind me to tell you a great story sometime about Paul Draper and the word “lovely”!), and we sincerely hope you can join us for the experience.

There are two requirements to attend First Friday:

1. You must be able to come to our Monte Bello Estate on Friday, February 1st, between 4pm and 7pm, as that’s the where and the when of the event.

2. You must be a member of our Wine Club (attendance is not branch-specific; members of ATP, Zlist, and Collector are all welcome!), or a guest of a member.

And that’s it!

The “official” language:

First Friday at Monte Bello
Date: 2/1/2013

February 1st~ 4-7pm

Please join us for the February edition of First Friday at our Monte Bello Estate!

In celebration of the new 2010 Ridge Vineyards Carmichael Zinfandel release, we will be showing a special three-vintage vertical of the Carmichael, plus our new 2011 Mikulaco Chardonnay!

We’ll have some delicious small bites on offer as well, and remember, while this is a Member Event, we are more than happy to host guests of our members too!

Regarding membership, please click here for general information, and for specific details about the ATP, please click here.

Regarding the Carmichael Zinfandel, please click here for detailed information on the new release, and please read on for today’s tasting notes!

2007 Ridge Vineyards Carmichael Zinfandel

Appearance (AP): mature hues; dark & serious plum & crimson, with a pale salmon halo. A somewhat adhesive glaze in the bowl, with thinnish legs that are still quite slow-moving …

Aromatics (AR): smoky, savory aromas, with hints of warm & salty baked pretzel wheat, matched against lo-tone root and chicory on one end, and dried stone fruit on the other. Additional layers of pemmican and jerky tones add to the savoriness, while traces of pine cone and bramble lend some fresh forestation …

Mouthfeel & Palate (MFP): still very plush mouthfeel, excellently juice-forward fruit, with tremendous acidity for a zinfandel with some age on it; def. shows some secondary tobacco and dried autumnal fruit character, and the savoriness carries over into the mid-palate …

Finish (F): long, forceful, and warming …

Summary: With an estimate of 4-5 years of development made by the winemakers back in late 2008, this wine is holding on even better than expected; secondary character is emerging, but great acidity enlivens the profile …

2009 Ridge Vineyards Carmichael Zinfandel

AP: very plummy hues, with a lovely ruby limn. Easy glaze in the glass, with fairly rapid legs that are somewhat thicker-torsoed …

AR: mouth-watering aromas of lemon curd and caramel matched against Spanish cured ham, with an under layer of stone fruit skin; apricot in particular …

MFP: very plush on the palate, thicker even than might be foreshadowed by the aromatics; sweet, lush fruit, with a fresh, summery decadence redolent of watermelon flesh and strawberry juice …

F: clean, focused, with tannins in emergence …

Summary: a very fruit-forward and sensuous rendition of the Carmichael …

2010 Ridge Vineyards Carmichael Zinfandel

AP: strong, crisp and lively garnet, with a perfect ruby halo. Easy viscosity, with relatively thin and swift legs …

AR: Remarkably bright and “up” aromatics; strong on citrus notes: ruby grapefruit and key lime pie particularly, all riding on top of classically herbal Alexander Valley zinfandel traits; rich fruit woven through with subtle threads of peppercorn and tobacco …

MFP: Great acidity; very fresh! Very high tone character, loads of fruit, though still wrapped in a pretty youthful structure; carignane feels particularly forward at this young stage …

F: Still tightish & lightish; will benefit greatly from double decanting, but very clean, very precise, and very pure …

Summary: A young showing for what looks to be a tremendous Carmichael vintage …

Categories: Carignane, Events, Offerings, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Tasting Flights, Tasting Notes, Tasting Rooms, Varietals & Blends, Wine Clubs, Zinfandel

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2 replies

  1. Cannot wait! Such a lovely vertical…just wishing the ’06 was in.

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