The wine is medium dark in the glass. The nose is perfumed with plum and blackberry aromas, with a hint of black pepper and campfire smoke. An undercurrent of lilacs sets off the more savory aspect. On the palate, there is amazing fruit - cherry, blackberry, cassis - along with some fairly awesome peppery notes. The mouthfeel is full, yet lean, with tannins firm enough to do a job but soft enough to stay out of the way when they are not working. I don’t get a color reference very often on the palate, but this wine tastes purple to me. The finish is medium at best, but full of the aforementioned fruit. — 14 days ago
This was our “back-up” bottle just in case the 1981 Clos du Val Zinfandel was DOA. In the end, the vitality of the ’81 rendered a back-up unnecessary however, we were resolved to open this nevertheless. The Old Hill Ranch is a historic vineyard endowed with a natural beauty that has few peers. Carefully farmed as a field blend with 30 other varieties, the vineyard is thought to be home to the oldest vines grafted to St. George rootstock (some of them are over 130 years old!!). The wine pours a bright ruby with no signs of sediment. On the nose, dark sour cherry, meat fat, brambles, and pie spice. On the palate, a mix of tart dark and red fruits, minerals, and a soft touch of baking spice. The finish is dry and long. Remarkable structure. Medium+ tannin, medium+ acid. This is a wine with tremendous vigor and it’s just getting started. While this is drinking very well already, I suspect these will have a very long life and should drink very well into the 2030’s and possibly, beyond. — 19 days ago
This 6 year old is drinking very nicely now. Showing blueberries, black cherries, plums, sweet strawberries, earth, vegetables, tobacco leaf, dark coffee, pencil lead, bitter herbs, Indian spices and peppercorn.
Medium plus in body and smooth. Dry on the palate with medium acidity. Nicely balanced with nice complexity.
This Single Vineyard has a tangy finish with fine grained tannins, but not particularly long.
Very enjoyable, easy drinking and fruit forward. A little hot at the back of the throat, though.
Showing a gorgeous nose at this point, full of wildflowers and blue and black fruits.
Good right out of the bottle, good by itself, and better with food.
As it opens up, more complexity comes in, especially on the nose.
15.5% alcohol by volume.
A small production of only 72 cases. — 4 hours ago
Ah Sobon Zin. The good stuff. This has some lovely cherry and berry aromas. With a bit of cut wood and nice smelling pipes. Flavor a a hint hot with a brandy/port streak, but that doesn’t detract from things because the fruit and zip is also there. Plenty to chew on and savor. This is jammy, classic foothills stuff. Full flavored and robust. Quite tasty too. — 10 days ago
This wine is medium-dark in the glass, and full-blown dark on the nose. Aromas of black fruit leap out first, but the tar notes follow quickly. It has a peppery smell to it and a healthy amount of chocolate and cigar box. The palate is full and lush. Blackberry notes, anise, mocha and bramble all join together with firm tannins and a lengthy finish. I want a steak with this one, but a sausage and pasta dish would be nice, too. You can also enjoy it by itself as it is quite sip-worthy. — 9 days ago
Expressive nose pf plums, white pepper, chocolate, eucalypt, liquorice. Well handled oak, polished tannins, good acid. Ridge never lets you down — 14 days ago
A continuation of some 1981’s that I’ve been opening to celebrate my 40th and this might be one of the biggest revelations yet. Over the last 20 years of my education, I’ve had the honor of being humbled countless times by wines, both good and not so good. However, every now and again, a wine comes along that challenges basic conventions and broadens my perspective. This was such a wine. Popped and poured; served alongside an assortment of grilled fare. The cork was about as healthy I’ve seen from a wine at 40 years. It came out mostly intact save for a small piece that was easy to remove but it served as a reminder that I ought to spend the money on a Durand. The color is deep garnet with some ever so slight browning at the edge of the rim. There is some fine sediment towards the bottom of the bottle but it’s otherwise quite clear. The nose was immediately engaging and full of interest. Predominate notes of old leather, dark cherry, mushrooms, black pepper, tobacco, and sweet baking spices. On the palate, the wine was rich, redolent. A mix of dark, mostly desiccated fruit, pipe tobacco, and baking spices. The real star however was the structure. Everything was still in its right place. Tannins were noticeable though clearly softened with age and very well integrated at this point. The acid provided all the necessary lift and a perfect zip to the finish. A wine of supreme balance. The four of us who shared this bottle looked at each other in wonder and amazement. A truly special wine that has years of life ahead. I have little doubt that it will still be handsome at 50. — 21 days ago