1975 Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel
He says: The general belief in the wine world is that zinfandel is a grape that doesn’t improve with age. Most people believe that zins should be enjoyed when they’re released. Well my experiences over three decades have been that well-made zins can be very age worthy, and they can change and improve with additional time in the bottle.
My father, Mel, was a member of Ridge Vineyard’s ATP program for about 30 years, so over that time he amassed a large collection of Ridge zins. We continue to enjoy them 10, 20, 30 years later. A few have gone over the hill – usually from lesser quality vintages. But many are truly outstanding and would rival a fine cabernet or bordeaux blend.
Which brings us to write about the 1975 Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel that we had recently to celebrate my mother’s birthday. This wine was made from late-picked grapes from the hillside Trentadue Ranch vineyard in Sonoma County.
According to the label comments by winemaker Paul Draper, 1975 was an unusually cool year (don’t get much of those anymore!), so they let the grapes ripen beyond full maturity. Grapes were harvested at 24% brix by weight, and the wine had .21% residual sugar when it was bottled in October 1977.
We kept this baby in a wine locker much of it’s life, and uncorked it over 35 years later! So it’s no wonder that it took about an hour after we decanted it for the wine to open. But when it did, it was really spectacular. It was soft and supple with lovely boysenberry and plum fruit flavors and a touch of spice.
The heavy tannins had softened considerably, but were still present a bit. And there was a nice amount of acid to balance everything. Quite simply, this was a delicious, elegant wine that really matured into a beauty. I rated it an outstanding 18!
And the best news is, we have two more still in the locker!