I love making lists. Here’s a fun prompt: what are the greatest wineries in America? I’ve got a lot of top 10 contenders turning over in my head, with emphasis on historical importance. One of these days I’ll sit down and hammer out an order. But Ridge is my #1.
The Le Dû's team was struck immediately on first tasting of these wines. They are plainly on-their-face remarkable beverages that are certain to entrance without any exposition of their story. But these wines also prove to be a seemingly bottomless well of intrigue.
The ever-accelerating cost of Napa winemaking, paired with the reserve of people willing to pay up for a sprawling estate of their own, means the idea of a small-scale farmer-vigneron gets more laughably alien to the Napa scene every passing year. That can be a good thing for California wine as a whole. Here’s why.
"Underappreciated" is not a term that can be easily applied to the wines of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) anymore. As the wines of the West Coast continue to come around the bend from extracted, fruity Californian mammoths to a more restrained style, eyes and palates continue to wander north to cooler climates.