WTN: New/MiddleAged Ridge Zins..(long/boring)

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WTN: New/MiddleAged Ridge Zins..(long/boring)

Postby TomHill » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:14 pm

We tasted tonight (10/9/13) Some (Mostly) New Ridges:
1. Ridge Zin CarmichaelRanch/RanchoSotoyomi/SonomaCnty (12% PS/4% Carignane; 14.7%; Bttld: April 2012; 35 brls;
Drk: 1/12-1/17-1/19: EB) 2010
: Dark color; strong vanilla/Am.oak strong blackberry/raspberry/Zin/quite
spicy slight earthy very aromatic nose; slightly tart strong vanilla/Am.oak slightly hot very strong
blackberry/raspberry/Zin/very spicy slightly bitter/tannic/bitey quite perfumed flavor; very long strong
raspberry/blackberry/Zin/very spicy some vanilla/Am.oak finish w/ some hard/bitey tannins; easily the
best Carmichael Zin ever made; very/very spicy and aromatic and a real sleeper in the current Ridge Zin
lineup. $28.00 (ATP)
2. Ridge MazzoniHomeRanch/SonomaCnty (14.6%; 67% Zin/31% Carignane/2% PS; 46 brls; Bttld: 5/11; Drk: 3/11-
3/17-3/19: EB) 2009
: Dark color; slight alcoholic some earthy/dusty strong blackberry/Zin/perfumed talc/
fairly spicy light Am.oak/vanilla slight perfumed/insecticide/aromatic nose; soft smooth/polished some
blackberry/Zin/perfumed talc light Am.oak/vanilla bit dusty/earthy slight alcoholic flavor w/ modest/smooth
tannins; med.long pretty/raspberry/blackberry/Zin/perfumed talc/fairly spicy light Am.oak/vanilla finish w/
light/smooth tannins; quite a pretty/understated/mild-mannered Zin. $nc (MR)/$30.00
3. Ridge MazzoniHomeRanch Calif/AlexVlly/SonomaCnty (66% Zin/32% Carignane/2% PS; 15.3%; 40 brls; Bttld:
March 2004; Drk: 1/04-1/09-1/12: PD) 2002
: Dark color; rather earthy/dusty/OV light raspberry/Zin/spicy
light Am.oak somewhat complex quite attractive nose; soft bit lean attractive/pleasant/raspberry/Zin/spicy
light Am.oak some complex flavor w/ light/smooth/well-integrated tannins; med.long light raspberry/spicy/Zin
light earthy/dusty/OV light Am.oak fairly complex finish w/ light/smooth tannins; a very attractive
fully-mature mild-mannered/ClarkKent Zin showing little signs of its age and ready-to-go. $24.00 (ATP)
4. Ridge Mazzoni HomeRanch SonomaCnty/AlexVlly (45% Zin/50% Carignane/5% PS; 14.4%; 47 brls; Bttld: April
2003; Drk: 3/03-3/07-3/08: PD) 2001
: Dark color w/ slight bricking; some earthy/dusty/OV slight cedary/
old Zin light raspberry/Zinberry/Zin slight pungent/licorice pleasant nose; light cedary/pencilly/old Zin
light raspberry/Zin/simple bit dusty/earthy flavor w/ light/smooth tannins; med.short pencilly/cedary
some raspberry/spicy/Zin light earthy/dusty finish w/ light/delicate tannins; starting to show a bit of
its age but a pleasant/mature Zin in a Milquetoast sort of way. $23.00 (ATP)
5. Ridge Zin BuchignaniRanch/DCV/SonomaCnty (9% Carignane; 13.5%; 46 brls; Bttld: 1/11; 75 yr old vines;
Drk: 10/10-10/15-10/16: JO) 2009
: Med.dark color; bit milky/creamy/vanilla/Am.oak rather spicy/raspberry/
Zin slight pungent/licorice rather fragrant nose; bit tart/racy strong raspberry/Zinberry/Zin/spicy/
cinammon some vanilla/milky/Am.oak/toasted coconut slight complex quite pretty flavor w/ modest tannins;
med.long raspberry/spicy/Zin/cinammon bit milky/creamy/Am.oak finish w/ light/smooth tannins; quite an
attractive/pretty Zin; one of the better Buchignanis I can recall. $28.00 (ATP)
6. Ridge Zin PonzoVnyd/RRV/SonomaCnty (97% Zin/3% PS; 14.1%; Bttld: Dec'12; Drk: 9/12-9/15-9/17: JO)
: Dark color; slight toasty/oak/smokey strong blackberry/Zin/spicy light pungent/smokey bit complex
nose; fairly tart quite spicy/blackberry/Zin slight pungent/licorice quite attractive bit complex flavor
w/ light/smooth tannins; long smooth/polished strong blackberry/Zin/very spicy light pungent/smokey/oak
finish w/ smooth/graceful tannins; balanced/polished/well-made very attractive Zin and a (small) step
up for a Ponzo. $30.00 (Z-List)
7. Ridge Primitivo LyttonEstate/SonomaCnty (14.9%; 89% Primitivo/6% PS/5% Carignane; 28 brls; Bttld: 01/13;
Drk: 12/12-12/17-12/19: JO) 2011
: Dark color; somewhat earthy bit blackberry/Zin/spicy/bit RCCola less
bright light smokey/oak slight alcoholic some complex nose; rather tart light blackberry/black cherry/cola/
Zin some earthy/rustic bit tannic/hard light toasty/smokey/oak flavor; long bit earthy/rustic some
blackberry/black cherry/cola light toasty/oak finish w/ some hard tannins; speaks only lightly of Zin,
not the high-toned/vibrant notes of the Zins, and a bit more earthy/rustic in character; an interesting
Zin that still speaks of Ridge. $32.00 (ATP)
8. Ridge LyttonSprings/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (82% Zin/16% PS/2% Carignane; 14.4%; Bttld: Feb 2013; Drk: 12/12-
12/20-12/22: JO) 2011
: Dark color; very strong blackberry/raspberry/Zin/very spicy slight funky/dishwater that
clears light toasty/oak complex nose of great depth; fairly tart some hard/tannic big/ripe/blackberry/raspberry/
Zin light toasty/pungent/oak structured/balanced flavor w/ depth & texture on the palate; very long bright/
blackberry/raspberry/Zin/very spicy some dusty/OV light toasty/pungent/smokey/oak very balanced/structure
finish w/ firm/well-integrated/seamless tannins; a lovely purity of Zin fruit and a structure to carry it
out well beyond 10 yrs; another beautiful Lytton Zin. $38.00 (Z-List)
9. Ridge Zin PaganiRanch/SonomaVlly/SonomaCnty (78% Zin/18% AlicanteBouschet/3% PS/1% Mataro; 14.7%; Bttld:
Feb 2013; Drk: 12/12-12/19-12/20: EB) 2011
: Very dark/near black color; rather pungent/smokey/gamey very
strong boysenberry/blackberry/Zin some black cherry cola/DrPepper bit ripe/jammy slight earthy/dusty/OV
rather complex nose; soft big/ripe/jammy very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/black cherry cola slight
earthy some dusty/OV/gamey slight smokey/oak complex flavor w/ some ripe tannins; very long intense
blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/cola ripe/jammy bit licorice/gamey/earthy/plummy some dusty/OV complex finish
w/ ripe/modest tannins; huge boysenberry fruit but seems pretty ripe and less structure than previous
Paganis. $35.00 (Z-List)
10. Ravenswood Zin DickersonVnyd/NapaVlly (750 cs; 14.8%; Bttld: June 2012; www.Ravenswood.com) Sonoma
: Med.dark color; slight minty/menthol strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/quite spicy light pencilly/
toasty/oak slight alcoholic beautiful nose; slightly tart intense blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/black cherry
cola quite spicy light pencilly/toasty/oak slight miny balanced flavor w/ some ripe/smooth tannins; very
long intense blackberry/boysenberry/black cherry cola/Zin very spicy light minty slight pencilly/oak
finish w/ some smooth tannins; loads of very spicy fruit but all about balance & structure; a beautiful
Zin at a very attractive price. $32.50 (SFW&S)
11. Ridge PetiteSirah LyttonEstate/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (100% PS; 13.5%; Drk: 12/12-12/22: JO; Whole Berry
frmtn) 2011
: First btl was pretty badly corked and no fruit; but soft/fat/porky on the palate and no structure
to speak of. Second btl: Black color; some fruity/plummy/licorice/ripe PS slight peppery/earthy/mushroomy
light vanilla/oak nose; soft/fat/lush/ripe fruity/plummy/licorice/ripe PS light vanilla/oak bit simple/one-
dimensional flavor w/ some hard/astringent tannins; med.short soft/fat/ripe fruity/plummy/licorice/ripe PS
light vanilla/oak finish w/ some hard/bitey tannins in the aftertaste; a rather simple/fruity/ripe PS but
totally lacking in structure or grip; hard to see this wine going anywhere; a rather simple/boring PS and
a rare clunker for Ridge. $nc (MR)/$30.00
12. Ridge Zin Jimsomare/SantaCruzMtns LateHrvst (100% Zin; 16.2%; 7 1/2 brls; Bttld: 4/12; SaH: 29.4%;
RS: 1.7%; Drk: 1/12-1/24-1/27: EB) 2010
: Dark color; very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/jammy almost
DusiRanchEssence very spicy perfumed/fragrant nose; ratherr sweet very intense blackberry/boysenberry/jammy/
ripe very Essence-like very spicy beautiful high-toned flavor w/ some tannins; very long/lingering rather
sweet intense jammy/raspberry/blackberry/boysenberry/Zin finish w/ some tannins; huge/classic Jimsomare
blackberry Essence-like fruit w/o being raisened/pruney; alcohol does not show; a beautiful high-toned
example of LateHarvest Zin. $33.00
13. Nalle Henderlong Zin HenderlongRanch/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (13.9%) 2007: Med.color w/ slight bricking;
rather cedary/old Zin/pencilly bit herbal some Zinberry mild-mannered elegant nose; soft bit washed-out
cedary/pencilly/old Zin bit metallic lean/austere light Zinberry flavor w/ light/bitey tannins; med.long
spicy/Zinberry light cedary/pencilly/old Zin/oak finish w/ light tannins; seems a bit on the pinched
side and old before its time.
14. Talty Zin FiliceConnollyVnyd/NapaVlly (14.7%; www.TaltyVineyards.com) Healdsburg 2009: Dark color w/
light bricking; rather herbal/rosemary/spicy/menthol some raspberry/Zin very ripe/overripe some volatile/
EA/fumey nose; rather volatile/EA/alcoholic soft quite ripe/overripe light raspberry/Zinberry/Zin slight
herbal/menthol flavor w/ little tannins; med.long herbal/rosemary/menthol rather hot/volatile/EA some
raspberry/Zin quite overripe finish w/ little tannins; weird/overripe Zin and not much pleasure.
A the usual bloviations from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. RavenswoodDickerson: This showed up here in SantaFe a week ago, so thought I'd throw it in with the Ridges.
Back in the old days (by crackey), back in the '70's/'80's, the Dickerson was my least favorite of the
Ravenswood Zins because of the overwhelming minty/menthol/eucalyptus character they showed. It did seem
to ameloriate w/ aging, though. According to Morgan, they've taken out a lot of the eucalyptus trees around
the vnyd and the wines don't show as much eucalyptus as they did in the olden days.
There has been much weeping & wailing & gnashing of teeth that the quality of the Zins at Ravenswood has
plummeted since Constellation bought the brand. That may be at the OldVine or VintnersReserve level (can't
say that I've tried those in many a yr). But, based on this Dickerson and a Barrica I've had in the last few
months, I don't see any such decline. My understanding is that Joel is still very much involved in the
making of the SV Zins (I suspect he doesn't go around pulling hose and topping barrels at Ravenswood any
more), and I think these recent ones reflect his continued involvement.
Alas, BillDickerson & his wife were killed a few yrs ago in the tsunami that hit in SE Asia.
2. RidgeZins: I have a wee bit of experience w/ Ridge Zins over the yrs. I think the current Ridge Zins are really
on the mark and maybe the best they've ever been, save back in the early '70's when the DaveBennion style/
influence was still prevalent. For the last few yrs, I think they've shown more diversity in style, display
their terroir better, and less of just-another great Ridge Zin in style.
Clearly, the folks at Ridge regard the LS and Geyserville as their flagship Zin, with maybe the Pagani
close behind. Though it varies from yr to yr as to my preference amongst the three; I think, over the 40+
yrs I've been tasting the wines, my preference as leaned to the LyttonSprings. The Geyserville, because of
its cepage, can sometimes seem a bit muddled & unfocused. I prefer the LS because of its purity of fruit,
its vibrancy, its acidity. Often I prefer the Pagani because of its complexity, its funky/gamey character;
its greater OV character. But, down the road w/ age, sometimes my preference changes. All three...you just
can't go wrong.
These two (LS & Pagani) were an interesting comparison. I much preferred the LS over the Pagani; for its
structure and brightness of fruit. The Pagani seemed quite ripe and a bit atypical of Pagani. My group,
however, seemed to prefer the Pagani, from their request for over a case on a reorder. Alas, the Pagani has
been selling (direct) like hotcakes and Ridge has imposed a 3-btl limit on its sale that even Mary could
not override. Fortunately, I moved fast and was able to scavenge another 12 btls from the shelves here
in NM.
As for the other Ridge Zins, as I often expressed to DonnReisen (jeez...do I miss that guy), I often find
them lacking...not up to the standards of the LS/Geyserville/Pagani. Donn, upon hearing my whine for the
umpteenth time, would roll his eyes and give me this fatherly pat on the shoulder; clearly letting me know
that he felt I was full of $hit. And sometimes he was right....sometimes the ATP Zins go from being sorta
ho-hum/another tasty Ridge Zin upon release and evolving w/ age into a really good mature Zin. And sometimes
not. Go figure...I gotta think that the quality of the grapes they draw from these vnyds is every bit as
good as what they get from LS/Geyserville/Pagani.
But I'm starting to see some signs of movement in these ATP Zins. This Carmichael '10 is easily the best
Carmichael Zin I've yet seen. The Buchignani '09 is (maybe) the best Buchignani Zin yet (I won't mention
the Buchignani Carignane...Eric's tired of hearing my whine on that subject). I hope it's the start of
something big.
And while we're whining & bitching, I suppose I should bring up the subject of the two old vnyds Ridge
dumped some yrs ago...Occidental and Fiddletown. The Ridge Fissletown, from ChetEschen's very old vnyd
(and, to a lesser extent, the EsolaVnyd) were some of the greatest Amador Zins ever made. They were
dropped because the oftentimes came in overripe (this was before the addition of H2O became more common).
The Ridge Occidentals were some of the greatest Zins ever made in California. The '70 Occidental was
monumental and cemented my love for Ridge. The Occidental vnyd was dropped because of the difficulty of
getting the grapes to ripen up on OccidentalRidge. Paul recounts how one time he drove up there to haul
back those grapes and caught Robert (vonWeidlich) throwing handfuls of C&H onto the grapes in the picking
bins. I would love it if Ridge would return to those vnyds.
One of the things that puzzles me about the Ridge Zins is the oak treatment. The 3Vllys, many/most of
the ATP Zins, have this strong vanilla/Am.oak/slight toasted coconut oak smell to them. In the flagship Zins,
the oak is usually/oftentimes much more subtle and not the usual/characteristic Ridge oak smells you get
in the lesser Zins. And I've not been able to correlate it with what they describe the oak treatment as
being on the side label.
3. The Ponzo/Pagani/LyttonSprings '11 were the Fall Z-list shipment that came in the previous week. As usual,
I want to try these wines as soon as they land on my doorstep.
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Re: WTN: New/MiddleAged Ridge Zins..(long/boring)

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:19 pm

TomHill wrote:My understanding is that Joel is still very much involved in the
making of the SV Zins (I suspect he doesn't go around pulling hose and topping barrels at Ravenswood any
more), and I think these recent ones reflect his continued involvement.

Mine too as he stated as much when I got a chance to talk to him back in April 2012.
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Re: WTN: New/MiddleAged Ridge Zins..(long/boring)

Postby Tom N. » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:39 pm

Hi Tom,

What is your opinion of York Creek zins from Ridge? I recently finished off my third and last bottle of the 2007 vintage of this wine. I really liked them and thought they had great structure but were not as fruity as some other Ridge zins I have had like Lytton Springs.
Tom Noland
Good sense is not common.
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Location: Soo, Ont.


Postby TomHill » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:48 am

Tom N. wrote:Hi Tom,
What is your opinion of York Creek zins from Ridge? I recently finished off my third and last bottle of the 2007 vintage of this wine. I really liked them and thought they had great structure but were not as fruity as some other Ridge zins I have had like Lytton Springs.

Opinions?? Moi?? Surely you jest, Tom!!!!
I generally like the YC Zins well enough, but just that. Earlier, they had problems on the picking of the YC Zin and they often came in on the
overripe side and were a bit on the alcoholic side. > 15% was not uncommon. But finally Paul insisted to Fritz that Ridge make the picking decision
for YC and the last 4-5 yrs have not been so overripe, though they still tend to be towards the very ripe side.
I can't recall a YC Zin in yrs, maybe ever, that I thought was of the stature of the Ridge flagship Zins. But they're usually better than the Ridge ATP
Zins (Ponzo/Mazzoni/Buchignani/etc). So...my opinion...hope you got your $$'s worth, Tom!!
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