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 RIDGE VINEYARD TASTING NOTES

 
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Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandels
Ridge Jimsomare Cabernets
Ridge Other
Flowers Vineyard and Winery
Belle Pente Vineyard and Winery
Chehalem Winery
California Reds
California Whites
Oregon Wines
Other World Wines
Euro Whites and Reds

JIMSOMARE ZINS

1984 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 13.4 % alc.: Ruby garnet with cedar over cassis on the nose and subtle perfume. Flavors echo with added big red currant/black cherry and some tannins yet to resolve. Looong finish. Dave Janelle thought this a bit oxidized, and he may have been right.

1985 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 13.3 % alc.: The perfumed chocolate/red currant/secondary spice aromas of this ruby dark garnet really expand on the palate, but this doesn’t finish as long as the ’84. The Director noted some burnt sugar on the nose; I could see what she meant, but I liked it better than she did. DJ thought this one was oxidized too.

1987 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 13.3 % alc.: Dark garnet with red currant and a hint o’ brett aromas that aren’t as exuberant as the last two. Very pretty red currant/raspberry flavors along with good acidity and some tannins yet, and no oxidation, according to Dave. Jeff Sullivan mentioned a tobacco nuance in this; I found it to be a pleasure to drink.

1988 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 14.9 % alc.: Back to the cedar overtone (and a little oxidation?) in this dark garnet’s nose, along with subtle chocolate/red fruit. The flavors are much more exuberant, with black cherry/raspberry/red currant, noticeable tannins and some heat on the finish.

1989 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 12.8 % alc.: Ruby garnet with a chocolate/mint/red fruit nose and a hint of brett. Weedy vegetal flavors aren’t particularly attractive.

1990 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 14.5 % alc.: Dark garnet, with slightly vegetal subtle burnt rubber aromas; not much fruit and no bouquet to speak of. Tannic red and black fruit flavors need time; slight hint of oxidation.

1991 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 13.1 % alc.: A bit of funk over chocolate/red fruit flavors and aromas; smooth acidity and not that tannic. So-so.

1992 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 14.8 % alc.: Slightly oxidized alcohol nose that follows through on the palate with sour cedar/red currant flavors. Not necessarily unpleasant, but…

1993 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 14.9 % alc.: Mmm, pretty chocolate/cherry/raspberry/vanilla bouquet; even some Draper perfume! Flavors echo nicely; typical of my impressions of ’93 Ridge Zins. One of the two best, along with the ’87.

1994 Ridge Jimsomare Zinfandel ATP; 13.4 % alc.: Subdued chocolate/red fruit nose; flavors echo, but seem flat. Again, typical of the vintage for Ridge.

JIMSOMARE CABS

1984 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon CP; 12.6 % alc.: Faint nose, maybe slight hints of leather, but that’s all; very nice red currant/cassis flavors with no cedar or secondary notes. Very nice claret.

1986 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon CP; 12.4 % alc.: A slight dill pickle over red currant nose and soft smooth cassis/red currant flavors. This picks up some olive/cedar/cigar box notes with a little air. Another very nice claret, just a step behind the '84.

1988 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon CP; missed the alc. %, DOH!: Some cedar over subdued cassis and a touch vegetal on the nose. Good rich flavors expand and improve; very soft and nice with food. Not quite up to the last two, but still a good effort for a poor vintage.

1989 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon CP; 13.3 % alc.: Slightly weedy hint o’ chocolate nose; red currant flavors with good acidity and tannins. Decent for the vintage.

1990 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon CP; 13.6 % alc.: Draper perfume; chocolate/cassis flavors and aromas and good tannins and acidity. Very promising but needs time.

1991 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon CP; 13.3 % alc.: Bellpepper over cassis nose; rich cassis/plum flavors with tannins and acidity to burn. Give this some years yet.

 1992 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon CP; 13.1 % alc.: Chocolate/red currant/plum flavors and aromas that aren’t as substantial as I expected. Good tannins and acidity; a good but not great wine.

1993 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon ATP; 13.4 % alc.: Pretty red currant/chocolate/coffee nose; flavors echo with an added note of raspberry. Tannins need some time, but this is very pretty.

1994 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon ATP; 12.4 % alc.: Subdued nose, but pretty fruit on the palate with cassis/red currant. Tannins clamp down, but this has a bright future.

1995 Ridge Jimsomare Cabernet Sauvignon ATP; 12.9 % alc.: A hint of bellpepper over chocolate/cassis/plum flavors and aromas, with tons o’ tannins. Excellent potential here. Dave Janelle called these last two "tannic pigs!"

RIDGE OTHER

1991 Ridge Monte Bello; 85 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 % Merlot, 5 % Petite Verdot; 13.1 alc.: This dark garnet shows nice Draper perfume over red currant/cassis characteristics; the big flavors scream Cabernet. Kim noted aquarium and green pepper on the nose and there was a definite maple syrup nuance there as well as it opened in the glass. Silky tannins and good acidity will take this down the road for years, but it’s already quite accessible. Wonderful stuff!

1995 Ridge Monte Bello; 69 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 18 % Merlot, 3 % Petite Verdot; 12.5 % alc.: We got a glass of this with Bree, who commented "Talk about impenetrable color; wow, chewy!" The nose is all maple syrup/red currant/cassis/chocolate, but this isn’t as substantial on the palate as the ’91. The red currant flavors seem to reflect the amount of Merlot in this, and again there are silky tannins and good acidity here.

1998 Ridge Monte Bello barrel sample; 80 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 % Merlot, 2 % Petite Verdot, 2 % Cabernet Franc: This dark garnet has a big maple syrup/Draper perfume/red currant/black cherry nose, but the flavors are really tight right now. Still, it has all the structure to develop into a real beauty.

1997 Ridge Geyserville; 74 % Zinfandel, 15 % Carignane, 10 % Petite Sirah, 1 % Mataro: Upon tasting this dark garnet, Kim exclaimed, "Jammy! Fruity! Cherries/cloves/nutmeg/pie spices." And it is a beauty, with wonderful reduced raspberry/cherry character. Remarkably smooth and accessible for its youth.

1997 Ridge Pagani Zinfandel; 88 % Zinfandel, 7 % Mataro, 3 % Petite Sirah, 2 % Alicante Bouschet, 14.6 % alc: Donn Reisen (Ridge VP/Sales) was pouring this, so we took the opportunity to make his aquaintance and have a nice chat. The wine is a dark garnet with sweet oak raspberry/cherry jam flavors and aromas again, and also very approachable already. Another great Mr. Ridge.

1992 Ridge Pagani Zinfadel ATP; 100 % Zinfandel, 14.8 % alc: This dark garnet still has some significant tannins, but also lots of big raspberry/black raspberry characteristics, with nice leathery nuances. Terrific Zinfandel; what it’s all about!

1992 Ridge Geyserville; 65 % Zinfandel, 20 % Carignane, 15 % Petite Sirah, 13.9 % alc.: Dave FORCED us to drink this wine from a producer that we’re not particularly fond of, and guess what? It’s terrific! There’s just a hint of barnyard over the obligatory raspberry/plum/blackberry bouquet that also shows some Draper perfume. The flavors match; this is just starting to go into that next phase of its development, but the secondary spices have yet to manifest themselves."

1997 Ridge Lytton Syrah ATP; 88 % Syrah, 12 % Viognier, 14.6 % alc.: This inky garnet won’t be released until November or December, but it sure tastes great right now! (I was able to get a second glass to confirm that assessment…) Inky garnet, pink at the rim, this has a big Draper perfume sweet oak/plum/blackberry/blueberry/pepper bouquet that echoes gloriously in the flavors. Like last year’s model, you can smell the Viognier in this. The tannins and acidity need time to tame down, and it turns somewhat astringent on the finish, so I’ll give mine 3-5 years in the cellar when I get my hands on them.

1988 Ridge Rancho Pequeno Barbara ATP; 12.9 % alc.: Bree cooked up a killer Ravioli dish for the dinner, and was given leave to make a couple of selections from the winery’s library, so he selected this and the ’89 model. The vineyard doesn’t exist anymore; it was only of an acre, located a few blocks from downtown Sonoma. It’s a cloudy rusty garnet with mature spicy dried cherry characteristics accentuated by subtle leather/cedar nuances. This shows excellent fruit; it still has LOTS of acidity and some tannins as well. Big thumbs up for this 11 year old Cal-Italian.

1989 Ridge Rancho Pequeno Barbara ATP; 12.9 % alc.: This ruby garnet is essentially a slightly less bumptious version of the ’88; it shows the same basic flavor profile in slightly more modest proportions, with less tannins and acidity. Still, it’s a good 10 year old Barbara.

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