Well, that was fun. Last week we were thrilled to host winemaker Eric Baughe of Ridge Vineyards who provided us a night for the ages. Of course, it was. This is America’s true First Growth. More importantly, Mr. Baugher and his wines confirmed that although there are many trends going on in California at the moment, the timeless classicism of Ridge will never go out of fashion.
2016 Zinfandel Paso Robles
2016 Zinfandel East Bench
2015 Lytton Springs
2015 Petite Sirah Lytton Springs
2015 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch
2014 Estate Merlot
2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Monte Bello
More About the Wine
The main storylines in brief:
The 2016’s raised eyebrows – Especially the Geyserville – but the East Bench and Paso Robles Zinfandels were charmers in their own right: sweetly fruited, succulent with a seductive velvety body. As Eric aptly described, you can feel the captured sun in the glass.
Geyserville VS Lytton Springs – What a glorious fight! Geyserville’s 2016 power and richly satisfying body against the slightly more nimble and complex Lytton. For me Lytton won the night for it’s intricacy but how it would fare in a best of seven match up?
Zin can age, and age well– Eric was very firm on how well his Zinfandel will age. Even the humble Paso Robles will enjoy a steady evolution for at least 8 years. Geyserville and Lytton? Easily a decade plus.
Surprise of the night – Of course the Monte Bello showed the majesty you would come to expect of a first growth, and the estate Cab didn’t fall short either. But I was particularly impressed and surprised by the beautiful nuance and mineral core of the 2014 Merlot. The stunner of the night.