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TomHill

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WTN: Mostly Ridges...(long/boring)

by TomHill » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:01 pm

We tried last night (9/26/12) Some Ridges/Mostly Carignanes Sept 26, 2012
1. Ridge Chard MonteBelloEstateVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (14.2%; SaH: 23.2 Brix; Bttld: Feb 2012; Drk:
11/11-11/16-11/17: EB) 2010
: Med.light gold color;very strong melony/Chard/ripe/pineapply/spicy
light vanilla/toasty/oak really lovely nose; fairly tart light earthy/chalky/mineral ripe/melony/
Chard/pineapply very spicy/nutmeg light vanilla/pencilly/oak flavor; very long bright/ripe/melony/
pineapply/Chard light earthy/chalky very spicy/nutmeg finish; a really lovely bright Chard w/ lots
of spiciness; very attractively priced at $36.00
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2. Ridge Calif DryCreek Sangiovese (85% Sangio/10% CabFranc/5% CabSauvg; 13.7%; LyttonWest/DryCreekVlly;
35 brls; Bttld: Jan'98; Drk: 12/98-12/99-12/03-12/04: PD) 1996
: Med.light color w/ slight bricking;
totally TCA/musty/corked nose w/ nothing else; very tart/tangy slight cherry quite earthy/musty/
TCA-infected flavor; one of the most corked wines I've had; too bad. $20.00 (ATP)
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3. Ridge Zin CarmichaelRanch (4% PS; AlexVlly/SonomaCnty; 45 brls; 14.2%; Bttld: 5/11; Drk: 9/10-9/15: EB)
2009
: Med.color; attractive spicy/raspberry/Zin light earthy/licorice strong vanilla/Am.oak bit simple
nose; soft strong vanilla/oak strong/pretty/floral/raspberry/Zin/spicu bit simple flavor; med.long strong
vanilla/Am.oak strong raspberry/Zin/spicy finish w/ light tannins; a pretty/balanced/raspberry Zin but a
bit on the simple side; pretty Zin but just that and only slightly above the 3Vllys level. $28.00 (ATP)
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4. Ridge Zin OldSchool (100% Zin; 78% Zin/14% Carignane/8% PS; SonomaCnty; 15.2%; 33 brls; Bttld: Mar 2011;
Drk: 12/10-12/15-12/16-??: EB) 2009
: Med.dark color; strong vanilla/smokey/oak intense blackberry/Zin/
boysenberry some spicy/peppery slight fumey/alcoholic nose; soft ripe/blackberry/Zin/spicy bit peppery
some Ridge/vanilla/oak bit alcoholic flavor w/ modest tannins; very long spicy/peppery/blackberry/Zin
rather Ridge/vanilla/oak finish w/ light tannins; quite nice Zin w/ lots of spiciness but not as
structured/balanced/complex as Geyserville
$30.00 (ATP)
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5. Ridge Calif Zin BuchignaniRanch/SonomaCnty (81% Zin/19% Carignane; 15.4%; 43 brls; Bttld: 12/09;
Yield: < 2 tons/acre; Drk: 8/09-8/16-8/17: JO) 2008
: Med.dark color; rather attractive spicy/blackberry/
Zin light earthy/dusty/old vine light Ridge/vanilla/oak nose; fairly tart bright/spicy/blackberry/Zin light
dusty/OV some vanilla/oak flavor w/ slight tannins; long bright/spicy/blackberry/Zin/earthy/dusty some
vanilla/Ridge/oak finish w/ light tannins; does not show its alcohol; quite a nice/pretty Zin. $28.00 (ATP)
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6. Ridge BuchignaniRanch Carignane (100% HillsideGrown/OldVine; SonomaCnty; 14.1%; 44 brls; Bttld: Dec2010;
Drk: 8/10-8/14-8/15: JO) 2009
: Dark color; rather earthy/dusty/mushroomy some cherry/black cherry/Carignane
bit rustic pleasant nose; soft bit hard/tannic/bitey some cherry/cherry cough drp rather earthy/rustic/
coarse light vanilla/oak flavor; long rather earthy/rustic/mushroomy somewhat grapey/cherry/cherry cough syrup
some hard/tannic/bitey finish; lots of cherry cough drop character w/ an underlying coarse/rustic character;
interesting coarse wine but just that. $26.00 (ATP)
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7. Ridge Calif BuchignaniRanch Carignane (Old vine, planted 1927-1953; 13.9%; 43 brls; Drk: 8/09-
8/13-8/14: JO) 2008
: Med.dark color; rather dusty/OV/pungent/ozone bit black cherry/Carignane light Ridge/
vanilla/oak some complex nose; fairly tart bit bright cherry/Carignane/blackberry dusty/OV/pungent light vanilla/
oak bit coarse/earthy flavor; med.long bit cherry/Carignane some vanilla/Am.oak light earthy/dusty/OV finish w/
light tannins; a bit on the earthy/coarse side; pleasant enough but just that. $26.00
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8. Ridge Calif Carignane BuchignaniRanch (oldVine/HillSideGrown; 14.4%; 49 brls; House & Top blocks
of 5 parcels; Drk: 8/08-8/12-8/13: JO) 2007
: Med.dark color; light toasty/smokey/oak/vanilla some spicy/black
cherry/Carignane bit rustic/earthy somewhat attractive nose; bit tart slight hard/tannic spicy/cherry/black
cherry cola/Carignane some earthy/rustic/coarse light vanilla/oak flavor; med. cherry/Carignane/black cherry cola
some vanilla/smokey/oak rather earthy/coarse/rustic finish w. modest tannins; pleasant drinking but not very
interesting. $26.00 (ATP)
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9. Ridge Calif Carignane BuchignaniRanch (OldVine/HillsideGrown; 75 yr old head trained;
13.8%; SonomaCnty; 44 brls; www.RidgeWine.com; Drk: 11/07- 11/11- 11/12) 2006
: Med.color w/ slight bricking;
attractive earthy/dusty/OV some cherry/Carignane/cola slight coarse/rustic/earthy light spicy/cinammon light
vanilla/oak nose; bit tart some bright/cherry/Carignane/cherry cola light earthy/rustic/coarse/OV light vanilla/
oak flavor w/ some tannic bite; med.long rather cherry/Carignane/cherry cola earthy/rustic/OV/dusty light
vanilla/oak finish w/ light tannins; probably about as good as a Ridge Carignane is gonna get. $25.00 (ATP)
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10. Ridge Calif Carignane BuchignaniRanch (14.6%; 48 brls; www.RidgeWine.com; Vines planted
1927-1952; 100%; Drk: 10/06- 10/11) 2005
: Med.light color; rather attractive smokey/toasty/oak some cedary/
pencilly/old Zin light cherry/Carignane bit complex nose; soft/smooth rather pencilly/cedary/oak/old Zin rather
toasty/smokey/oak light cherry/cola/Carignane flavor w/ light tannins; med.long smokey/toasty/oak rather cedary/
pencilly/old Zin light cherry/Carignane bit complex finish w/ little tannins; showing nice cedary/old Zin/oldRed
character and quite smooth; my favorite of these Carignanes. $24.00 (ATP)
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11. Ridge Calif Carignane BuchignaniRanch (13.5%; 44 brls; www.RidgeWine.com; Drk: 9/05-
9/09-9/10) 2004
: Med.color; slight earthy/barnyardy/rustic/coarse light cherry/Carignane some cedary/pencilly/
old Zin bit complex nose; tart smooth rustic/earthy/coarse bit barnyardy/leathery light cherry/Carignane light
cedary/pencilly/old Zin bit dried out/tired/tannic/bitey flavor; med.long some earthy/rustic/barnyardy/leathery
slight cherry/Carignane some pencilly/old Zin/cedary/complex finish w/ bit astringent/dried out aftertaste;
starting to go around the bend. $24.00 (ATP)
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12. Ridge Calif CabSauvg Jimsomare/KleinRanch (100% CabSauvg; MonteBelloRidge/SantaCruzMtns; 12.9%; 30 brls;
Bttld: April '97; Drk: 3/97-3/02-3/07: PD) 1995
: Med.dark color w/ slight bricking; very strong herbal/leafy/tea
some blackcurranty/herbal/earthy/loamy rather toasty/oak/coffee bean light pungent/smokey/ozone nose; tart bit
green/underripe strong herbal/leafy/Cab bit hard/tannic slight bretty/unclean/mushroomy/earthy toasty/smokey/oak
flavor; med.long somewhat green/underripe/herbal/earthy slight blackcurranty/Cab rather toasty/coffee/smokey/oak
finish w/ rather hard/tannic aftertaste; seems on the underripe side annd has not developed the grace and
complexity I would have hoped for. $24.20 (ATP)
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13. Ridge Calif PetiteSirah DynamiteHill/YorkCreekVnyd/SprintMtnDist/NapaVlly (100% PS; 13.8%; 14.5%; Bttld:
Nov 2008; Drk: 8/08-8/18-8/23: EB) 2006
: Very dark/black color; intense blackberry/peppery/PS/very spicy strong
vanilla/toasty/oak some earthy/dusty/OV rather old-timey PS nose; tart rather hard/tannic quite peppery/PS/
blackberry/earthy/dusty strong vanilla/oak/toasty/smokey old-timey PS flavor; very long strong peppery/blackberry/
PS strong vanilla/smokey/oak spicy/peppery fairly hard/tannic finish; plenty of fruit and sort of an old-timey
PS that needs much age; should go out another 15 yrs; reminds me a bit of the '75 YorkCreek. $30.00
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14. Slight of Hand TheSpellbinder ColumbiaVlly RW (36% CS/33% CabFranc/20% Merlot/5% Sangio; 13.6%) 2010: Very dark
color; strong charred/toasty/burnt/oak bit alcoholic strong blackcurranty/Cab/plummy huge fruit nose; soft very
ripe/lush/blackcurranty/Cab/plummy bit chocolaty very strong burnt/charred/oak flavor w/ modest tannins; very long
soft/ripe/lush intense blackcurranty/plummy/Cab/earthy very strong burnt/charred/toasty/oak slight tannic finish;
lots of very ripe fruit and loads of charred oak and a bit lacking in structure; a rather soft/floppy sort of
Cab but very fairly priced. $23.00
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And the usual long/boring BloodyPulpit:
1. Chard: I really took a liking to this wine. Not as intense as the MonteBello bttlg, not as much oak. But a very
bright/lively Chard that reflects the SCM terroir very well.
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2. ATP Zins: This is a whine I directed at DonnReisen for many a year. These are smaller lots of Zins that I
expect something special from. Very often, they are not. In general, I seldom find they measure up to the
regular Ridge Zins (LyttonSprgs/Geyserville/Pagani/Dusi). Are the vnyds not as good? Do they not put as much
resources/effort into the? Are the yields higher? Not sure exactly what the reason is. The Jimsomare Zin is
probably the sole exception. Admittedly, they're not priced as high as the regular Zins. But, all too often,
they just don't seem as thrilling as the regular Zins. Not bad Zins...just nothing that special. Maybe my
expectations are too high.
That said, these ATP Zins have an uncanny knack of, down the road w/ a few yrs of age upon them, rising up
and biting you in the a$$ how good they are....sometimes. The BuchignaniZin '08 was just such a wine. When I
tasted it when it first arrived last year, it was just another nice Ridge Zin...maybe a small step above the
3Vllys.
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3. Carignane: The Ridge Carignane is a wine that has long puzzled/perplexed me. It is, consistently, my least
favorite wine of all the Ridges. Every time I taste some Ridges w/ EricBaugher, he urges me to give the
Carignane another shot. He's not yet convinced me to change my view. That said, I think the the Ridge
Carignane is about the best Carignane made in Calif. I've had a few from Priorat and Languedoc that I
liked better...but in a much different style from what Ridge makes.
When young, the Ridge Carignanes tend to have a hard/tannic/bitey edge to them. The fruit seems to be
mostly of the cherry kind. They seem to have a coarse/rustic character to them and lack the bright/high-toned
notes you get in the Zins. And they seldom seem to develop much interesting character as they age...and seem to
mature on a pretty fast track. Maybe..just maybe...you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear after all.
So...when my '10 Buchignani Carignane lands on my doorstop next month, I'll just roll my eyes, groan a
bit...and try yet another one. Sorry, Eric.
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4. DynamiteHill: This is the last YorkCreek PS that Ridge will make. They gave up these grapes to FritzMaytag
who can get a much better price than what Ridge was paying in a sweetheart deal. So sad....because the Ridge
YorkCreek PS was one of the iconic PS's in Calif. At least, they're going out w/ a bang. This is one of the
better YC PS's I've had of late. Resembles somewhat the '75 YC PS to my recollect. I don't think their
LyttonSprings PS's quite measure up to any of the YorkCreeks.
Tom
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Mostly Ridges...(long/boring)

by David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:23 pm

A question on your fine (as is typical) report:

4. Ridge Zin OldSchool (100% Zin; 78% Zin/14% Carignane/8% PS; SonomaCnty; 15.2%; 33 brls; Bttld: Mar 2011;
Drk: 12/10-12/15-12/16-??: EB) 2009:


100% zin and 78% zin?

Again, overall very inrteresting. I'm glad that I have been picking up the Dynamite Hill PS lately (a friend is in the club). I'm sad to see it go. My tasting group (lots of old guys) has the York Creek back to '71, and whenever the old bottles get opened I am just wowed by how good they are, especially the '71 and '74. I don't really have the patience to let the younger wines sit for 30-40 years, but hopefully it doesn't take quite that long for these younger ones to show their stuff.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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TomHill

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Well....

by TomHill » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:37 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:A question on your fine (as is typical) report:

4. Ridge Zin OldSchool (100% Zin; 78% Zin/14% Carignane/8% PS; SonomaCnty; 15.2%; 33 brls; Bttld: Mar 2011;
Drk: 12/10-12/15-12/16-??: EB) 2009:


100% zin and 78% zin?

Again, overall very inrteresting. I'm glad that I have been picking up the Dynamite Hill PS lately (a friend is in the club). I'm sad to see it go. My tasting group (lots of old guys) has the York Creek back to '71, and whenever the old bottles get opened I am just wowed by how good they are, especially the '71 and '74. I don't really have the patience to let the younger wines sit for 30-40 years, but hopefully it doesn't take quite that long for these younger ones to show their stuff.


Well, David.....one set of numbers was from the btl label, the other one was from the fact sheet that came w/ the wine. Don't know which one was correct.
Tom

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