Ridge reports that:
The vineyard was originally planted by Pierre Klein, an Alsatian who came to California in 1875. In 1888, he purchased 160 acres on Monte Bello Ridge; a property now known as the Jimsomare Ranch. Initially, he planted Bordeaux varieties on their own roots. But when phylloxera attacked his vines after the turn of the century, he did not replant. Retiring in 1910, he sold the property in 1913. In 1936, it was purchased by the Schwabacher family of San Francisco, who renamed the property “Jimsomare” from their names: Jim, Sophie, Marie. Although Klein’s Bordeaux varietals had died out, a small nineteenth-century zinfandel vineyard survived. Ridge bought those grapes, and made its first Jimsomare Zinfandel in 1968. Ridge then convinced the family to replant the Bordeaux varietals, plus a small amount of chardonnay. In exchange, Ridge provided rootstock, and a promise to purchase the grapes. The first cabernet bottling was in 1978. By the late 1990s, Ridge acquired the long-term least to the property, and took over all aspects of day-to-day farming. Today, Ridge farms this original Klein property as part of its Monte Bello Estate.
Although the wine made from the Jimsomare Cabernet grapes normally goes into either the Monte Bello or the Santa Cruz Mts. bottlings, Ridge occasionally makes a single vineyard wine exclusively from the Jimsomare Ranch Cabernet grapes. 1997 was such a year.
At age 15, this was still a vibrant and youthful wine. Lots of dark cherry and berry fruit, as well as plum and prune associations. Strong oak influences. Despite the dominant youthful fruit flavor associations, the smooth tannins suggested that this wine was definitely mature, but even so I'd guess it probably would have lasted another 5 years at the very least. Improved with air. Grade: B++
I served this with Flatiron Steak with Herbed Red Bliss Potatoes, Red Onion Marmalade and Red Wine Demi-Glace, for which it made a great match.