The new vintage of the Ridge Zinfandels seems to be in. The mixed case is of 6 bottles this time.
You beat me to it! Fairly good pricing too, I think. Or at least marginally cheaper than last year and a fair bit cheaper than several other merchants.
Good spot! I’ve been waiting for these to come in, and a nice surprise to find that the price is lower than last year, even if only marginally. Given the speed with which some things seem to selling at the moment, I have not hesitated to buy my usual three Lytton Springs
This is just so tempting…but I’ve spent so much this year on wine so sadly it’s a “no” from me
Popped a mix case into Reserves while the going was good
I don’t know whether to thank you or the opposite.
I’ve got more wine than I have space for, but I had to have Ridge. I decided since I have so many bottles, not to get the East Bench. The ones I have had from previous offers haven’t thrilled me, and I prefer Zin with a few other varieties in the blend, so I got the six pack without East Bench, i.e. 2 x Geyserville and 2 x Lytton Springs.
They’ve sold out fast before, and I’ve missed some previous vintages because of that. But the 6 pack and the Geyserville and Lytton Springs are still available.
On balance, thanks, because without your post I wouldn’t have known.
And the other Ridge’s too by the looks of it!
The East Bench hasn’t been available before except as part of the 6 pack, and wasn’t originally separately available in the current offer… .ummm I wonder if the 6 packs haven’t been selling this time…
And as for the East Bench, what on earth does TWS mean by
This 100% Zinfandel is a full-bodied Californian-rooted wine
where else would a California wine be rooted? And - a pedant says - is the rootstock not from out of State?
It’s not as if there isn’t plenty to say about the wine, e.g. that its organically grown, hand harvested, spent 12 months in barrel - much more on Ridge web site
2018 East Bench Zinfandel - Ridge Vineyards (ridgewine.com)
I miss the cases of three offered in previous years.
I am entirely new to these wines. I am aware that they might well be too big for my tastes. Are they still worth me giving a go? How old should they be before a more European palate (get me actually using the right word) can approach them?
I’m also very European in my tastes, but these are the one New World wine that I regularly buy. They’re not over-the-top, full-bodied jammy monsters, but nicely balanced, and the fruit stays bright and offset by cedary and slightly tarry savoury notes and smooth tannin and acidity. A bottle of Lytton Springs 2013 that I drank recently was in a very good place, though a 2014 that I drank a year or so ago still seemed quite young. I think that was vintage variation, though, as they’ve previously seemed pretty good to me at five years. I’ve never broached one very young, but they don’t need enormous ageing before they become enjoyable, even though they have the stuffing to last a long time if you’re so inclined.
All IMO, of course!
It’s a big world, there are thousands of varieties so there’s no obligation to try California. Also TWS Ridge usually sells out in 24 hours so I’m working against myself by recommending Ridge or similar Zins
But, since you asked
Of the three I’d suggest the East Bench. I’ve not tried the vintage on sale, but I have previous. East Bench is - rare for Ridge - a 100% Zin, and less ‘big’ than their field blends. But that’s £32 although cheapest of the three. You’re paying for Ridge’s name.
So try the Once & Future ‘Oakley Road’ Zinfandel, which I do have. Again a 100% Zin, but grown on its own roots on sand. Very subdued, European even. And £25. See TWS video with Joel and also
Link has article on Oakley Road and vine picture
Once & Future is made and owned by Joel Peterson who founded Ravenswood and who sourced the grapes and made the wine in the early days. Now owned by a conglomerate.
When I started with Zin decades ago the mantra for Zin was that the winery should start with ‘R’ - meaning Ravenswood, Ridge and Rosenblum.
Although like @robertd I am usually very European in my tastes too, but I would say that Ridge Zins are big and swarthy. Having said that I love them and even now, when the price has doubled I still buy myself a few. I have had the odd one which felt a bit too much but typically they seem balanced and nuanced. Which is quite a trick. Have a go, if the price doesn’t seem too prohibitive.
Thanks @Peterm, I think I’ll probably give the Ridges a miss this year, but give the Once and Future a go to see if I am a fan of the Zin.
I remember seeing Ravenswood wines in supermarkets when I was younger. They have a pretty distinctive label, and from my brass banding days, Ravenswood was one of my favourite marches. I’m not sure I’ve ever had it!
The Ravenswood usually found in supermarkets was the basic ‘Vintners Blend’, as the name suggests a blend of wines sourced from across California. But they did and do produce single vineyard wines from named vineyards and regional wine, e.g. Lodi and Sonoma.
I was a fan of Ravenswood and visited the winery several times and I’ve met and chatted with Joel Peterson, last time was a year ago this month. What started out as a small winery just grew and grew till it got huge and he sold it to Constellation while keeping control on production.
He parted from Constellation and went back to his roots starting Once & Future, which he explains as meaning that once he was a one-man winery and now he is again for the future. BTW, his son Morgan has a winery called Bedrock, and both father and son specialise in old vine wines, searching out 100 y.o. parcels.
Joel Peterson (PCR is another name for DNA), t-shirt means that before DNA identification, leaf shapes were used to identify vines and the leaves are from vines found in the Zinfandel field plantings he uses.