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Posts Tagged ‘Geyserville’

Losing Focus… + Ridge Geyserville ’18!

November 8, 2020 Leave a comment

Wow, Free Rangers, that Four Roses barrel went quickly; officially our fastest selling single barrel ever. Those hardcore Four Roses collectors do not mess around. Even with the bottle limit, our stock made it barely 4 days. I’m sorry to everybody that missed out, but next time I tell you that something is going to sell out quickly, you should probably click through directly. If you go back and check the history, I believe I’ve only said those words in one previous e-mail sale, maybe two. I know a lot of marketers like to pretend that whatever is being offered is flying off the shelf, but I’m not that guy, and don’t intend to be become him. So, full disclosure, the offer at the bottom of this one is of a wonderful product, at a great price, and we’ve got a lot of it! Ridge Geyserville ’18 should be available at the sale price for the duration of the week. Sellout risk = very low.

It was a tumultuous week here at the shop though business, in the traditional sense, remains good. Too much to detail, but these are the bullets: 3 semi-regulars have officially lost access to me, 2 have had all fridge privileges revoked, and one is going to have to order online and pick-up if he wants to continue buying from us (his version of in-store shopping comes with an unacceptable level of oblivious dismissal and condescension). 10 months into a global pandemic, some people still can’t see beyond their own faces, and we are no longer interested in being on the receiving end. As always, the vast majority of you are cool as hell to us, and thank dog for all of your furry friends that brighten our days. And holy cr@p, Arrow, the (Lab-ish) puppy is going to grow up to be a massive(ly sweet) doggie monster.

And now, for something somewhat familiar… That Ridge Lytton Springs sale we had a few weeks back was one of our most successful, and most requested for repeat. As the Ridge wines have always been darlings of better steak houses, and other eateries featuring hearty American fare, and restaurants that are surviving just aren’t buying these things up like they normally would. As such, Ridge’s legendary Geyserville zin-based blend also has that same crazy 10 case deal we grabbed on Lytton. There are very few wines I’ll buy without tasting first, but I’ve been following this wine as long as I’ve been buying wine, and I can count on one finger the number of Geyserville releases that haven’t impressed me in the last 20 years, so we ordered the 10 cases of 2018, sight un-tasted, and it just walked in the door. No surprise, it’s a beautiful, inky beast that has a long life ahead, but is pretty damn tasty right now, especially with some air. This one is a classic beef, lamb, (spicy) barbecue type pairing. I don’t want to repeat everything I said about Ridge Vineyards so recently, so for more swooning over Ridge, and a little more history, here’s a link to that e-mail, in suspended animation: Ridge Lytton Springs ’17.

Just as with the Lytton Springs, full retail price on the latest Geyserville release is officially over $50, but we’re offering the same discounts as before (see math below). And once again, if you want to go for a 6-pack, you’ll get the best possible price per bottle, along with a FREE wine tote, and a FREE bonus bottle from my personal collection (which could be literally anything)!

(!) CLICK HERE to access the hidden sale page (!)

Ridge Geyserville 2018
sale: $39                        retail: $49

6-pack Ridge Geyserville 2018  + FREE BOTTLE from my personal collection (+ free wine tote)!
sale: $209 ($34.83/btl)            retail: $294

** This week only, as supplies last! *** No other discounts apply.*

Cheers,

Jack
Proprietor
Free Range Wine & Spirits

Friday News Dump: California Classics at Apiary – Ridge and Dunn

March 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Statistics show that nobody reads blogs on Friday, but wine has been tasted and notes have been scratched in purple ink. A couple of nights back, over steak and duck at Apiary, after some 1990 Cote de Beaune and before a couple of stickies, we cracked a trio of American classics; two from Ridge and a Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet from 1981.

Apiary 3-13-2013Upon first opening, the Dunn showed surprisingly thin, for a typically long lived wine, but it’s always a journey with these mountain beasts. One of the bottles that first did it for me, one of the first tastes to awaken a real interest, was Dunn’s ‘86 Napa Cab. At the time, my soft palate didn’t know what to make of the monstrous ’86 Howell Mountain Cab, but the harmony of the fruit and the earth I found in that ’86 Napa Cab seemed to me to be all that a big CA red should.

But back to the wine currently staining the linens on the tasting table behind my eyeballs: After about 35 minutes of air, the Dunn Cabernet Howell Mountain 1981 proves to be a slumbering giant, full of burly brambly mountain fruit. The palate is expansive, deeply gripping, and the finish’s long path is peppered with a patchwork of wild woodland herbs. The alcohol pulls in at a clockwork 13%, thought the wine- long integrated as it may be- is many shades heavier.

The Ridge Zinfandel York Creek 1994 also begins a little closed and while the body does build with ample air, this wine is not as lush as previous tastings, though the fruit hasn’t receded entirely. Both color and clarity are still crisp and the wine shows only the slightest hint of its age. The red fruit is still slightly out front of its earth component, but it is no longer penetrating. Forest floor and ancient spice box persist through the subtle, but undulating finish.

The Ridge Geyserville 1992, at this point in its career, is a dead ringer for a fruit forward Napa Cab five or six years its senior. Slip one of these into a blind tasting of  late ’80s CA Cabernet and blow some minds/palates. Geyserville is a classic of the Napa establishment, and in my experience, this wine always shows well, though the true aging potential varies from vintage to vintage. I’ve also found that recent vintages seem to drink better younger, making them all the more difficult to squirrel away for further maturity, full integration, and secondary flavor development. For a true classic and always a palate expanding, Ridge Geysereville (and most of Ridge wines besides the Monte Bello) can still be acquired for around (a wholly fair) thirty bucks.

Andrew Bird, The Jack of Hearts, and DeLoach Zinfandel OFS 1997

June 28, 2011 Leave a comment

DeLoach Zinfandel OFS 1997 is yet another example of a reasonably priced old vine CA zinfandel that proves what an underrated varietal it is for aging. While it’s almost cheating to bring up Ridge– well-known makers of some of the finest aging zin that’s ever been bottled- a ’94 Ridge Geyserville was once the crowd favorite at a tasting I held of CA heavyweights and I have been an advocate ever since. This DeLoach OFS ’97 (a growing season of high yields and excellent quality) was deliberately made in a more traditional style that the winery had retreated from in the mid-’80s in attempts to produce a younger drinking crowd-pleasinger bottle. The timing couldn’t have been better meteorologically and what remains today is braving the years with fortitude.

Another compelling iphone 3G pic.

While getting to know this bottle of DeLoach Zinfandel OFS 1997, I’m listening to an entire itunes library on shuffle, the one on a decade-old imac, which once ran the office of my defunct publishing company, but now only functions as a jukebox and DVD player. I’ll skip the gratuitous Dylan reference today even though the alternate (original) version of “Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts” is just fading out. On however to Andrew Bird, “Tables and Chairs” off of his breakthrough album, Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs. It’s a heavy-minded, light-hearted, off-kilter glimpse of a post-apocalyptic playground: think Fight Club meets SpongeBob, aesthetically. Individually, the lyrics and spritely flowing orchestration of the melody are more than minor paradoxes. Together they make up a textural menagerie that’s like the structure of a Beach Boys tune (sad lyrics over happy music) with a head full of DMT. The beauty of Andrew Bird’s best work- which is most of it- is that one can get lost in the music alone, which is crushing when one ponders the depths of his stories. This is why Andrew Bird has been my platonic man-crush ever since Beck‘s records started to suck; a Sea Change indeed.

For an inexpensive wine, this ’97 DeLoach Zinfandel OFS, with proper aging and now a decent amount of air in it, is still as weighty as one might imagine, but it’s got a supple roundness to it that is more than what could have been hoped for, and depth to spare. There’s been some softening, visually, and of the raspberry and cherry, which make up the majority of this wines fruit profile, but it is not yet thin in the middle. Not relenting are the pronounced cedar, pine tar, dry forest floor, hearty herbs- rosemary, and a touch of menthol, hanging down around the 14.5% alcohol, which will always be present. For a non-luxury (industry code for ‘over-priced’) cuvee, this wine over delivers, but that’s part of the magic of old vine CA fruit, particularly from a banner vintage.