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Ridge Zinfandel Guadagni is made from 80% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah.
Jammy nose of blackberry and cassis with notes of pepper, mint and tobacco. Full-bodied on the palate with well coated tannins, black cherry fruit and a long, layered finish.
Owned and farmed by the Guadagni family for over fifty years, this vineyard grows in the rocky soils at the northern edge of the Dry Creek Valley. Planted primarily to zinfandel; petite sirah from an adjacent parcel was added this year for color and depth. We limited pump-overs to once daily and pressed after eight days of fermentation as color and tannin were plentiful.
In 1962, Ridge made its first Monte Bello, and two years later its first zinfandel. Since that time, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare and exceptional vineyards where climate, soil, and variety are ideally matched.
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility. At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard”, now referred to as the Perrone Ranch.
In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the “middle vineyard” and referred to as the Torre Ranch — new owners Dave Bennion, Hew Crane, Charlie Rosen, and Howard Ziedler, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of “estate” cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California’s finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and ’61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. Dave Bennion left his role at S.R.I. to oversee winemaking duties full time.
The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity.
By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile’s coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward “hands off” approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and Zinfandel account for most of the production; Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Petite Sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962.
Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century’s experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our pre-industrial approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.
Caymus Suisan Grand Durif is made from 100 percent Caymus Suisan Grand Durif.
Only 30 minutes from Napa, Suisun Valley (which became an AVA in 1982) is still largely undiscovered. With its warm days and cool nights, this pastoral region reminds us of Napa Valley in the 1960s. Known for delicious stone fruits and walnuts, it is also gaining recognition for exceptional wine. Durif is synonymous with Petite Sirah, the widely grown grape in the region – we added “Grand” to the name for its grand style. With harmonious tannins, this wine is opulent, luxuriously soft and totally enjoyable.
Baron Aime Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose NV is made from 85% Pinot Noir & 15% Chardonnay.
Light pink color with coppery shades. The citrus notes blend subtly with aromas of strawberry, forming a fresh and delicate bouquet. The palate is lively, with notes of grapefruit and fresh bread. Together they form a rich, fresh and vibrant wine.
"Steely amber color. Aromas and flavors of strawberry, green apple, toasted oats, and creme fraiche with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, intricate, medium-length finish that presents overtones of slightly under ripe wild strawberries, apricot, warm bread dough, and lemon zest. Lively and bright for a perfect apéritif yet with just enough richness and body to carry you in seamlessly to the first course."
- Beverage Testing Institute (November 2022), 94 pts - GOLD MEDAL - BEST BUY
Baron Aime Cremant de Bourgogne Brut is made from 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Aligote.
Light yellow with bright reflections. The nose is fresh and lemony with subtle floral aromas, apple and citrus fruits. The mouth is fresh, delicate, tight and precise with fine bubbles that stimulate the palate nicely.
A delicious aperitif and a great match with shellfish.
Golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of brioche, green and yellow apple, dried pineapple, and lemon oil with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-long finish displaying impressions of croissant with salted butter and tart pear jam, white tea, and grapefruit peel with no oak flavor. A lovely and racy apéritif that will pair splendidly with a cheese and bread course."
- Beverage Testing Institute (November 2022), 93 pts - GOLD MEDAL - BEST BUY
Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
With mild temperatures leading to a long growing season and a surprise-free harvest, the 2018 vintage can only be described as idyllic. Alternating spells of cool and warm weather during bloom led to varying berry sizes, perfect for developing complexity in Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. Morning fog, afternoon sunshine and a lack of heat spikes throughout the summer allowed for a long ripening period that developed fruit with excellent natural acidity and beautiful flavors.
Mouth-filling citrus, orange blossom and lemon flavors highlight the 2018 season with a textural mineral note gliding across the finish. This is a year marked by brilliant natural acidity, so don’t be afraid of laying some 2018 Chardonnay down for the future.
With age comes maturity and beauty. Our Camp Meeting Ridge Estate vineyards are nearly 30 years old and among the longest standing in the area. Their robust root systems give them a depth and resilience that allow the vines to flourish in raw conditions. They express the unique traits of the setting where they grow. In 2018, our vineyards gave us everything we could have hoped for, and we did our best not to get in the way. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this vintage are profoundly complex wines that convey the nuances of a specific time and place.
Sourced entirely from our organic and biodynamically farmed Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard. Planted in 1991, these “older” vines are producing our most exciting and interesting Chardonnays to date. Given the extremes of this site, each small block ripens at its own pace. Picked by hand in the foggy frigidness of the early morning, fruit integrity and temperature were ensured for a whole cluster pressing by sunrise.
Coming from the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, the 2018 Chardonnay Camp Meeting Ridge is more mineral-laced, with a touch of marine-like iodine in its orchard and citrus fruits. Nicely textured and medium to full-bodied, with bright acidity, it's going to benefit from a year (or two) in bottle and should keep for a solid 7-8 years or more.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94+ Points
Grace Town Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi is amde from 98% Old VIne Zinfandel + 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ruby red in color, with red fruit, raspberry, and spice on the nose. This wine is medium in body, with notes of ripe cherry, cedar box, cinnamon, anise, black pepper, and hint of smoke on the palate. It has a long, silky finish.
Harney Lane Old Vine Zinfandel Lizzy James Vineyard is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
Unabashedly ripe, but keeping true to it’s vineyard driven Zinfandel fruit notes of dark morello cherry, blackberry and pomegranate jelly. This full-bodied wine is deep with concentration, supple and polished with a careful measure of sweet oak that supports the generous fruit flavors.
Lizzy James Vineyard is registered as a Historical Vineyard by the Historical Vineyard Society; The vineyard name is the middle names of our children which were given to them in honor of grandparents.
Sub-appellation : Mokelumne River
T.A. : 6.5 g/L
pH : 3.8
R.S. : 0.4 %
Kinsella Estates Spencer Zinfandel is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
A complex amalgamation of tart blueberries, baked plums, warm earth, fresh black cherries, anise, pie crust, brown sugar and a slight note of sweet confectionary candy. On the palate, the wine is plush with great depth and an expansive roundness that seems to push outward with power. The complex flavor mirrors the nose, with a savory/spicy finish and a slightly sticky/resinous grip of the tannins.
When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
G.D. Vajra Bricco Delle Viole Barolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The Barolo Bricco delle Viole shows the signature verticality of its vineyard. The wine is beautifully layered and - while restrained as it’s always the case in the youth of Bricco delle Viole - it also shows a complexity of layers with purple flowers, sweet spices and mineral tones. The palate is noble, with a refined acid spine and profound tannins that promise a long aging potential.
Among the historical vineyards of Barolo, Bricco delle Viole is the highest and the closest to the Alps. It rises from 400 to 480 meters above sea level, on the Western ridge of the village. Its name, “Hill of Violets”, originates from the flowers that blossom early here due to the perfect south exposure. Up above the fogs, Bricco delle Viole enjoys the earliest sunrise and the last sunset every day. Thanks to its vines dating back to 1949 and -now- 1931, a dramatic diuturnal temperature range and this pure light, Bricco delle Viole generates a sophisticated and profound Barolo DOCG of bright aromatics, chiseled tannins and subtle minerality. 2018 is a vintage that shows many nuances of Bricco delle Viole: beyond the signature verticality of this site, the wine offers high tones laced with mineral nuances and plenty of energy and youth.
The 2018 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is not super intense, but it is balanced in its own way. The wine is subdued but complete with softly yielding tannins to support an elegantly streamlined mouthfeel. Bricco delle Viole is a high and cool growing site in Barolo at 400 to 480 meters in elevation with characteristic Sant'Agata marl soils with fossils. The wine represents a selection of fruit from over seven hectares. With fermentation in steel tank and aging in large Slavonian oak, you are invited to a silky, lifted and beautifully delicate experience with an accessible personality.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
An elegant version, this red features rose, black currant, cherry, mineral and a hint of eucalyptus aromas and flavors. Linear in profile, this is solidly built on a graceful frame, with finely woven tannins and vibrant acidity.
- Wine Spectator 95 Points
Gaja Alteni di Brassica Sauvignon Blanc is made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc.
Fresh and floral, featuring a sleek note of white flowers: jasmine, acacia and lily. Tomato leaf, combined with sage and pink grapefruit, lead the way for a juicy display of mango, papaya and passion fruit.
Alteni di Brassica has a powerful style and a rich bouquet. A vivid structure with bright acidity, yet it displays a mineral accent on the mid-palate. The finish is long, sweet and focused.
The 2019 Alteni di Brassica is bright, focused and full of energy. Sage, mint, tomato leaf ‘and a whole range of varietal accents lend vibrancy to this beautifully sculpted, phenolic in feel Sauvignon from the Gaja family. The 2019 was fermented and aged in a combination of steel and cask, with no racking until bottling. | especially admire the precision here.
-Antonio Galloni Vinous 94 Points
Marquis d'Alesme Margaux is made from 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.