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Posts Tagged ‘Ridge Vineyards’

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

No means yes… in wine shopping.

September 16, 2020 Leave a comment

 

Hey Free Rangers,

First, for those who have asked (and thank you for that), while it’s not a complete archive, there is a MailChimp page that displays our 20 most recent e-mails (all previous sales have expired). I do also have a (somewhat neglected) blog, on which I have *tried* to log these messages. There are many other entries from years of its original incarnation as a mishmash of wine, restaurant, and music reviews: www.WineGeist.net. [Obviously, you know about the blog. You’re reading it. Thanks!] Unfortunately, I’m old enough that the vast majority of my published work appeared in physical magazines, before all content was a multi-media simulcast, remaining in clickable suspended animation indefinitely. And for those of you who specifically did not ask, thanks for bearing with an indulgent moment. We now return to your regular program, already in progress…

Why do so many people want to tell you ‘no’ in response to a simple question, when their intent is quite clearly, directly ‘yes’? All obvious innuendo aside.
Example:

Me: Hey, how are you? Is there anything I can help you find?
Customer: No… Just looking for a dry rosé.

So, would this individual like assistance in finding a dry rosé or would they prefer to be left alone, but really want me to know what they’re looking for, so I can seethe with frustration, as I watch them stroll right by the location in our shop where the item(s) in question live? Often the response to my face value query is even less vague, going directly from ‘no’ into what can only be construed as a question:

Me: Any questions about any of this stuff?
Customer: No. What sorts of Bourbon do you have?
Me: You know that’s a question, right?

As I’m writing this, Derek asks a guy if he has any questions, to which he replies, “No, I’m just looking for a gin,” and then asks a direct question about our gins. When ‘yes’ and ‘no’ cease to have constant meaning in the same mode of communication, we’re well beyond Bill Clinton territory, and are deep into Newspeak. It’s a horrifying thing, the destruction of words. Basic verbal communication has become a laborious endeavor, deeply fraught with inherent conflict. It’s double-plus un-good. On tougher days, I like to turn and walk away upon the ‘no’ and am often out of the room by the time they turn around to look at me, in the middle of the question that follows. I’d feel bad about how hard I’m giggling in back, except that I had just been lied to, for no reason at all, which makes it okay. Under Bush the Elder, Robert Anton Wilson referred to the art of saying that which is not, as “Old High Bullshit”, not be confused with “Middle Low Horseshit”, which seeks to use language to say nothing at all. But that level of deception by the orator is deliberate, and insidious. Somehow, when there is no ill intent at its core, the removal of all traditional linguistic bulwark seems even more dangerous. (Literally.) The basic structures of what’s left of American English, along with the structures of civilized society, are exponentially (and existentially) beyond the looking-glass. Fake News! Jabberwocky/Bandersnatch 2020!

[imagine seamless segue about here]

Ridge Vineyards is one the most classic, most iconic American wine labels, and that stylish label text has looked the same since the early ‘60s. Ridge is most famous for their old school Bordeaux style blend from their Monte Bello Estate which ages as gracefully as any wine in the world, and has become quite expensive, and rather difficult to acquire. But as old vine zinfandel is one of the most quintessential of CA red, it has always been in Ridge’s zin based blends that I have found the greatest intrigue and value (though they too have been getting pricier). I genuinely don’t believe you can a have a decent wine shop without at least one Ridge label on the shelf; we have lots. Their juice is unquestionably delicious, and historically significant, but I’d also argue that Ridge labels are as visually timeless and distinct as Domaine Romanée-Conti, the granddaddy of all Burgundy.

Lytton Springs Estate is Ridge’s primary Sonoma property, which is home to 100+ year old zinfandel vines, interplanted with Petite Sirah, Carignan, and small amounts of Mataro (Mourvedre) and Grenache. You can’t fake 100 year old vines, and they consistently produce deep, dark wines of complexity and character. Normally long sold out from the distributor before the next vintage arrives, this year of the zombie apocalypse has found them with an ample supply of the 2017 vintage, as the 2018 is about to be released in our market. We took full advantage of the 10 case discount and while full retail price on this lovely beast is officially over $50, we can do quite a bit better for you. How does $39 per bottle sound? Perhaps you’d prefer a 6-pack at under $35/btl w/ 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 Lytton Springs 2017
sale: $39                        retail: $49

6-pack Ridge Lytton Springs 2017 + 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.