Ridge, Geyserville Zinfandel, Santa Cruz Mountains 2020


Simply one of the best wines at its price-point that we have known over the last two decades. Proof, if it were needed, that in the right hands Zinfandel is a superb grape variety. This is powerful, sophisticated, elegant and utterly beguiling.

The core flavours rarely change in young tastings of this wine, with the present vintage showing a dark, deep colour with ripe black cherry and plum, some flinty notes, a touch of pine and beautiful oak spice. It's a rich and smooth, deep wine that is impeccably layered with ripe, polished tannins, a clean and clear mineral-like structure and a long, memorable finish. As it ages, there are mature fruit flavours, currants and leather that develop. It's a real treat. As the high praise from the US publication Connoisseur's Guide says: "it still makes our palates sing and puts a smile on our faces. Buy it."

The Ridge story is one that really inspires; three tech graduates working in Silicon Valley, bought the ranch in 1959 as a weekend retreat for their young families. On the land was also a winery and vineyards. They started making some wines, but wanted a winemaker, so hired Paul Draper. He himself had been in the US Forces in Europe at the end of the Second World War and had studied in France after his duty, learning about winemaking as part of the course. What has happened since is one of the great uncoverings of a region, a grape and a philosophy that has helped put the USA on the fine wine map. Coming fifth in the original Judgement of Paris, then first in the re-visited Judgement 30 years later with the icon wine Monte Bello, the justification for Ridge's winemaking and vine selection decisions are clear and consistent: old vines, low intervention, organic vineyards and a commitment to honesty and quality. You can't argue with that.

One of Ridge's legendary and most-celebrated wines, this Zinfandel is actually made from a field blend of old vines, 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet. The exact proportions and contents changes depending on vintage quality, but the wine retains remarkable consistency from year to year, each time showing the Geyserville character. And you'll find out what's in the bottle when you buy it, because each and every action taken in the vineyards and winery is written on the label. This winery is such a tech-nerd haven, that they document everything and then tell you what they have done on the label, from winemaking dates to picking dates to the actual ingredients!

This is Ridge’s 54th consecutive vintage of Geyserville. The grapes grow in the Geyserville ranch zone, which is really a set of three contiguous vineyards, each with the same soil type. Originally a river bed that ran into the Russian River, these vineyards are poor in soil quality and rich in stone and gravel. Not very large in area, the total vineyard measures about 800 metres by 2.4 kilometres.

It's a remarkable wine with a huge history of success.

“Enormously complex and full of personality. Lots of juiciness and briaryness, with notes of espresso, soy sauce and gaminess. Very rich, impressive and structured, 2020 was Ridge’s 55th consecutive vintage of Geyserville, a wine that many Ridge collectors consider the winery’s best Zinfandel blend. Its pedigree is uncontested. Made from old vines, some of which are more than 125 years old and 60% of which are 50 years old or older, leading of course to tiny yields. A historic field blend of approximately 69% Zinfandel, 20% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mataro (the old name used in California for Mourvèdre). The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards, all of which are defined by an ancient washout of the Russian River that carried and deposited gravel and river stones to the site.” 96 points. Karen MacNeil, Decanter

Region: Santa Cruz Mountains

Country: USA

Grape(s): Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan

Style: Powerful, Medium Full, Iconic, Elegant, Complex, Broad

Best food matches: Wild Boar, Warm Salads, Venison, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie

Alcohol: 14.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.