Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel Red 2008

Winemaker's Notes:

his second drought year reduced yields in Benito Dusi's eighty-six-year-old vineyard. The vines ripened uniformly, and we harvested all three parcels within a week—a record. The three were kept separate, and two of the six tanks were fitted with grids to hold the caps submerged for fuller extraction. Primary fermentation was carried out by natural yeasts. Juice was pumped over the cap twice daily until pressing—day eight, on average. Uninoculated secondary fermentation took forty days. The finished lots were blind-tasted for assemblage; for once, all could be included. The wine's concentrated flavor called for a higher-than-usual percentage of new oak. Exotic barrel spices complement the vineyard’s ripe bramble fruit, and this year's intense color is striking. Integrated and enjoyable now, this excellent vintage will develop over the next five to seven years.

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Ridge Vineyards:
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), 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... Read more
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), 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." 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"— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, 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. 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 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. Read less
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Layered Rice Pudding

RiceSelect's fragrant Jasmati® is blended with eggs, milk and fall's favorite spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, to create a delicious rice pudding, which is layered on top of fluffy cream cheese and abuttery pecan crust. Pairs well with a bold, tawny port with flavors of dried fruits, nuts, and spices.

View Recipe

Member Reviews for Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel Red

Add your review
Snooth User: JonDerry
6804463,173
2.50 5
10/05/2011

Deep dark red color, but not much of a nose, at least yet. Strong and ripe Zin fruit, with lively acidity and some judicious oak influence. Medium finish, without a lot of bite. 88-89 points.


Snooth User: pfmackin
147441130
3.50 5
02/10/2011

While not my favorite Ridge, this wine is well balanced with enough fruit to allow the acidic balancing to support a broad range of food pairings. We drink Paso with chicken as easily as beef - it's that drinkable. I agree that decanting this wine is vital and waiting a few years is preferable - if you can!


External Reviews for Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel Red

External Review
Source: NapaCabs.com
10/15/2011

The fruit's slight sweetness is balanced by firm acid, its freshness accentuated by early bottling. Delightfully approachable, this wine will be most enjoyable over the next five years.


External Review
Source: WineChateau.com
10/03/2010

Deep garnet. Concentrated plum, black cherry. Gravelly earth, rich chocolate. Dark, juicy bramble fruit on palate; cardamom, crushed pepper, sweet oak. Round tannins; fresh, lively acidity. EB (3/10)


External Review
10/21/2010

Paso Robles produces some of the biggest, fullest Zins around, and this is no exception. Bursting with raspberry and boysenberry fruit and with an exceptional, ageworthy structure. We haven't seen Paul Draper's Paso Robles bottling in several vintages, and we're thrilled to have it back!



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his second drought year reduced yields in Benito Dusi's eighty-six-year-old vineyard. The vines ripened uniformly, and we harvested all three parcels within a week—a record. The three were kept separate, and two of the six tanks were fitted with grids to hold the caps submerged for fuller extraction. Primary fermentation was carried out by natural yeasts. Juice was pumped over the cap twice daily until pressing—day eight, on average. Uninoculated secondary fermentation took forty days. The finished lots were blind-tasted for assemblage; for once, all could be included. The wine's concentrated flavor called for a higher-than-usual percentage of new oak. Exotic barrel spices complement the vineyard’s ripe bramble fruit, and this year's intense color is striking. Integrated and enjoyable now, this excellent vintage will develop over the next five to seven years.

Dietary Information: Organic


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