2016 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Alexander Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1353993 96 points James Suckling

 This is impressive for the sense of presence and depth it delivers on the nose and palate with subtly spiced dark plums and cherries, as well as cocoa powder and a superbly composed structure that delivers a seamless, long and fresh finish.  (11/2018)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck

 From a single vineyard in the Alexander Valley, the 2016 Geyserville is a rock star of a wine that readers should snatch up! Fabulous notes of blueberries, black cherries, currants, toasted spices, and graphite all flow to a medium to full-bodied wine that has a seamless texture, terrific elegance, and a great, great finish. The quality of this cuvée has soared over the coming 4-6 years, and this might just be the best yet. It promises two decades or more of prime drinking.  (2/2019)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine is a real success this year, bursting from the glass with an exuberant bouquet of sweet cherries, blackberries and plums, with subtle hints of the licorice and spice to come with age, and a subtle framing of sweet new oak. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a lovely core of ripe, succulent fruit and beautifully fine-grained structuring tannins. The finish is long and pure. There are 23 different grape varieties co-planted in the Geyserville vineyard, but in 2016, Zinfandel dominates at 73%, followed by 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah and 3% Alicante Bouschet. This was a great set of recent releases from Ridge, with the superb 2016 Geyserville standing out as a particular highlight. I've also included a few notes on barrel samples tasted at the Monte Bello winery. Ridge boasts as illustrious a history as any winery in California, but they certainly aren't resting on their laurels. Indeed, a persuasive case could be made that Ridge is currently producing the best wines they've ever made. (WK)  (5/2018)

95 points Vinous

 The 2016 Zinfandel Geyserville is a powerful, tightly wound wine. Beams of supporting tannin and acidity give the 2016 its distinctly virile, imposing personality. Black cherry, graphite, lavender, and spice are all laced throughout. Deceptively medium in body, the 2016 packs a serious punch. It also needs at least a few years in bottle to settle down, as the tannins are quite imposing, There is a purity to the 2016 that is absolutely striking. (AG)  (8/2018)

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Price: $39.95
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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2018 | Send Email
Ridge was a defining producer for me in my early career and over the years they have never let me down. I remember tasting bottlings of Lytton and Geyserville that to this day are the benchmarks by which I measure Zinfandel and many northern California reds for that matter. The Geyserville hearkens back to those early days of drinking for me with its dense berry filled nose and loads of pepper and allspice. Some light floral notes dance through and expand as the wine opens. On the palate the concentration is there but with an almost seamless weight. Actually this is better than many of those old Zin blends that I used to drink as the care and detail in this wine has become more evident. I may not drink as much Zin now as I did when I first started but this wine will bring me back again and again. Truly special!

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/5/2018 | Send Email
It was a bottle of 1990 Ridge Geyserville that first opened my eyes to the majesty of California wine. I was a burgeoning wine enthusiast living in NJ and hadn't been exposed to much high quality California wine. But my local merchant put one of these in my cart and opened up a new world for me. The very first sip just blew my mind. The copious fruit, the perfectly proportioned frame, the exceptionally long finish. I’ve been a fan of this wine ever since. The 2016 vintage brought back memories of that wine epiphany. I’ll surely be putting a few of these away for future drinking. So good!

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2018 | Send Email
Ridge has always been one of my favorite California producers and the Geyserville and Lytton Springs compete year after year for my top spot. Ridge has the highest quality Zinfandel vines in the state and continue year after year to show why they deserve their stellar reputation. As one of their most popular and top-end wines, the Geyserville continues to impress me this year as a stand-out from the others. It seems to have more dark fruit than in years past and I like that Ridge is not afraid to showcase vintage variability rather than follow a recipe every year. This is one of Ridge's more complex, rich wines, and again tops my list as one of my favorites.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2018 | Send Email
This is one of the best young Geyservilles that I have tasted, and reminds me very much of the great 1995 when it was young. I don't think it would be an overstatement to call this bottling one of the best wines of California, as they age gracefully for decades, and are completely imbued with the soul of Sonoma. Not only does this 2016 have the wild berry fruit and spice, it has great structure. I was surprised to read that it is only 7% Petite Sirah, as the tannic backbone of this wine was better than the Cabernet we tasted next to it! It is all about the vineyard here, and if you want one of the great terroir wines of the Golden State, don't miss it!
Drink from 2018 to 2036

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/4/2018 | Send Email
An absolute stunner from Ridge. The 2016 Geyserville and Lytton bottlings are so good it's staggering that they still sell for under $40. Zinfandel from some of the best Zin vineyards on the planet, made by a winery with arguably more pedigree with the varietal than anyone on earth, with a track record going back many decades. Let's be honest, if this was old vine Cab, from one of the best vineyards in Napa, made by an iconic producer we'd be adding a zero to the price tag. After walking both vineyards recently I truly think this is one of the best modern day values in wine.

Additional Information:



- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.