Ridge Zinfandels 2020

I learned today that mixing a case for reserves of 1 x Lytton Springs, 1 x Geyserville, 1 x Pagani Ranch and 3 x bottles of tonic water was not a possibility. Bit of a shame.


Fever Tree?

I"m glad to see that they are being sold individually. I like to buy three Lytton Springs every year, but baulked at the mixed case. Normal order now placed, and not as painful a price increase as feared - £2 up on last year.

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Oh not it’s not… (16.15pm)

It would be funny if it wasn’t so annoying. The email shot arrived in my in-box at 15.07 and I followed the link just over an hour later and, of course, it’s OOS.

I suggest you cut this out and apply it to a dart board

You can put cases of six into reserves even if on the listing it says ‘case of 12’. Just add six individual bottles to your basket and at checkout you will have the option of placing into reserves.

More coming on the 16th, it seems.

Looks like it’s due in on the 16th with an option for an email when it’s back:

Ah I see @Stefanovic go to it before me!

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In 2021 I bought some Once and Future Oakley Road 2019 Zin for £24 a bottle, which was a fairly unusual wine spend for me. I haven’t tried any yet. I’m wondering whether I would feel the Ridge Zins are worth roughly twice as much. Would I really get a lot more pleasure from them? Very hard for me to say, having tried neither, but does anyone have any particular thoughts about this?

I also have a Louis Martini 2016 Zin waiting to try at a suitable moment. Anyone want to place that in the Zin hierarchy? Actually this will probably be the first to go. I’d be interested in any enlightening comments.

I love both and have both sitting in the cellar.

I can’t say it’s a 2x QPR but at the same time probably worth seeing where the O&F prices drop out this year.

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Lytton Springs now sold out

I bought a single bottle of the O&F OR 2019 to try and drank it early 22, I think. I didn’t take a note but I do remember being a bit underwhelmed by what I thought was a lack of interest and complexity. IMHO it was pretty one-dimensional and simple and I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had been around the £15 range. Personally, I’d prefer to trade down to the Sobon Rocky Top or Farmhouse red and save a bit of money or…

… trade up to the Ridge Zins which are indeed considerably better – the question is less comparative and more an absolute one. Do I want to spend north of £40 a bottle on them? Maybe, but probably not every year.


I agree fwiw, I think you’d be able to taste the difference, and the trade up is worth it imho.

I had the 2018 Once and Future Oakley Road Vineyard Zinfandel in August 2020 as part of a mixed case I put together for a few days up in the Forest of Dean. It was opened to accompany some nicely barbecued meat from David Sheppard’s Family Butchers in nearby Coleford, but the enduring memory is one of hefty searing oaky alcohol.

I may not have the most delicate of palates, but I’m a repeat buyer of Ridge (albeit not this year) and have a few bottles in reserves. Not O&F though…


Haven’t tried O&F. Have tried a fair few Ridge. Geyserville is worth the money in my view, but only if you’re prepared to be patient. 8-10 years post vintage and it sings. Earlier than that and you just dont get the complexity that you’d want for the money.

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I’m an O&F convert after being priced out of Ridge.
I think Ridge has a bit more structure and acid (perhaps due to what the PS & Carignane etc bring?) It also turns a bit more like ‘new world claret’ (if that makes sense) with age.
O&F is more full bodied and round. But also has great concentration of fruit and tannins. I think it needs a couple of hours in the decanter before drinking to mesh together.

I personally found Sobon Rocky Top sickly sweet and won’t be a repeat purchase. Maybe if you were doing the full on sticky ribs and BBQ glazed brisket etc and you wanted to match like-for-like but not for my palate.


I’m not sure there’s anything like the ridge Zins, (Geyserville in particular for me), I think it’s the blend that makes them more interesting and age worthy, I find most Zins all on one note. But £40+ is pushing it.


Appreciate all the replies. I’m half hoping if I vacillate a bit longer the choice will be made for me!
I tend to keep wines for a while which is why I haven’t yet tried the O&F 2019. I’ll probably give them a couple more years. 8-10 for the Ridge sounds very reasonable to me but the trouble is I’m not sure how many 8-10s I have left, or how well I’ll get on with these heavyweight wines as I head towards 80.

Oh, interesting comments on the Sobon too. I haven’t tried that either but did have the impression it would be too sweet for me. Happens sometimes with Zin.

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I went to the O&F dinner a few years ago and the older wines were superb, the younger wines jammy… I’m leaving my 2017s for a while longer.

So I guess you’re hoping the future matches the once.

Thanks @rmvb2 - but I saw your post too late and anyway I transferred my affections (money) to six Ridge Pagani Ranch. I was tempted by the single bottles of Geyserville and Lytton Springs but queried if it was my collecting instinct rather than need; anyway someone else has bought them so I no longer have the temptation.

BTW enter ‘Zinfandel’ in TWS search bar - don’t press enter

and click on Ridge Zinfandel 3x3
nuff said…

@Andy999 and anyone else interested in Once and Future Oakley Road Vineyard Zinfandel. I bought a case (12 bottles - the only way they were available then) after seeing a TWS video of O&F founder/winemaker/owner Joel Peterson. Oakley Road was planted in 1890 ungrafted, i.e. on their own roots.

But it is 100% Zinfandel and, while perfectly nice, doesn’t have that interest and complexity of a Zin blended with some compatible varieties.

I know Joel preaches Zin should be co-fermented or blended with certain other varieties. I attended a workshop he gave where we tasted 100% Zin and then blended in a little Alicante Bouschet, Carignan, and/or Petite Sirah.

Some quotes I noted “Carignan adds zip -acidity and spiciness) to Zin”, “Petite Sirah is a pain to grow, lacks colour, structure, is extremely tannic” and about Alicante Bouchet: “a little AB goes a long way, can quickly dominate a wine.”

@Andy999 - regarding Louis Martini Zin. The Louis Martini winery in St Helena was oneof the first wineries I had a behind the scenes tour of, after I showed interest in their wines in the tasting room. They were fermenting Zin in open tanks. This was in the late 70s when Napa Valley was a sleepy backwater and there were few people visiting wineries, unlike the crowded tourist destination it is now…

I’ve not seen Louis Martini wines for a long long time and I’d buy one for old times sake, but I’m afraid LM is no longer Martini owned; it’s now yet another label owned by the giant Gallo organisation.


I wasn’t aware of this before. The Martini Zin was given to me by a native of Sonoma who is a wine enthusiast, so I’m hoping for something pretty good. Am I wrong in getting the implication you wouldn’t buy it because it’s Gallo owned? They seem to come in for much opprobrium, but I wonder if it’s a bit unfair. Yes it’s a big company and they have some mass market brands. On the other hand I’m sure they don’t buy other companies simply to make them worse.

Would a fair analogy be to refuse to buy a Porsche because it’s owned by VW? Just curious really. People generally seem rather negative about Gallo, and to some extent Constellation, but the growth of these mega-brands seems to be a feature of life at the moment. Perhaps that in itself is not popular?