Talk to me about Geyserville!

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Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:09 pm

For tomorrow's 30 Second Wine Advisor, I'm doing a TN and short essay about Ridge Geyserville, and specifically the 2004, which is part of this month's box from California Wine Club's Connoisseurs' Series.

I've got my own TNs and opinions, of course, but since I'm not the kind of Zin Fanatic or Ridge aficionado that I know some of you are, I'd love to have some of your thoughts, comments and ruminations about Ridge in general, and Geyserville in particular.

If you feel like waxing poetic and don't mind being quoted either by full name or first name and locale, let me know that, too. Private responses are okay, but a discussion in this thread would be great.
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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby Jenise » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:20 pm

Geyserville was the first zinfandel I truly fell in love with, and I didn't realize at the time that it was among California's greatest wines and one of it's most unique, that it was a true iconoclast. In that I suppose it's like Latour or La Tache--you can plant those grapes anywhere else on the planet, but you will never duplicate or surpass what makes Geyserville Geyserville.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:23 pm

Jenise wrote:you will never duplicate or surpass what makes Geyserville Geyserville.

If you had to sum it up in a sentence, how would you describe that unique Geyserville character? :)
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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:34 pm

Geyserville - the most balanced and age-worthy zinfandel blend made.
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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:49 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Geyserville - the most balanced and age-worthy zinfandel blend made.

Thanks, David. I love old-style Zin-heavy California red blends ... frankly, I think I love them much more than I do full-varietal Zin. I find it interesting that Geyserville doesn't label the wine Zinfandel even in years like 2004 when the Zin (barely) reaches the 75% level that would allow that. To me, "Ridge Geyserville" standing alone makes a certain statement, like "Penfolds Grange" or "Chateau Latour Pauillac."
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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby Mark Lipton » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:31 pm

Ridge Geyserville has arguably been the de facto standard for what California Zinfandel can achieve since the 1970s (its major competitor for that title being Ridge Lytton Springs, Ridge's other flagship Zinfandel blend). Geyserville is typically characterized by a core of ripe (but not overripe) berry fruit balanced by enough acid and tannin to assure it of a decade or more of enjoyable drinking. Aged Geyservilles are noteworthy for their balance and secondary characteristics. The consistency of Geyserville over the years has been enviable, with good examples produced in virtually every year over the past 40 years and it is also noteworthy for maintaining a high level of quality (and a reasonable price tag) even as its production has increased above 10,000 cases in recent years.

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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:33 pm

I find it interesting that the most age-worthy Geyservilles (e.g. the '91) have lower Zin percentages.
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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:46 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I find it interesting that the most age-worthy Geyservilles (e.g. the '91) have lower Zin percentages.

That makes a lot of sense, if we think about it. Petite Sirah's aging potential is huge. Carignane not so bad. Zin? There's some controversy there, with some advocates who argue it turns into "claret" with great age. Me, I'd rather drink it (if at all) while it's young and full o' fruit.

Geyserville, though, answers the question with complexity and richness, and those are good things.
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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:27 pm

Robin,

I don't have extensive experience with Ridge Geyserville. What I've seen of Geyserville and other Ridge Zins I've been damned impressed with. Geyserville's in the top rank of CA zins, IMO. And yes, among the most ageworthy (though like you, I like most zins for their young fruit).

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Re: Talk to me about Geyserville!

Postby John Treder » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:15 am

With Geyserville, it's fun to try to mentally figure out where the tastes come from - Zin, Mourvedre (which they still mark as Mataro), PS or Carignane. And if you have the chance to taste several vintages at several ages, you find that one or the other of the "helpers" is helping quite a lot at that moment.
Geyserville tastes like Really Good Zin in its first two or three years. Then it gets better. I think of it as one of the three or four wines that sort of define what the Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley are all about.
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