Ridge 2012 Three Valleys® Sonoma County

Ridge 2012 Three Valleys bottle shot

2012 Three Valleys, bottled August 2013
79% zinfandel, 12% carignane, 8% petite sirah, 1% alicante bouschet
Sonoma County AVA
14.2% alcohol by volume

Winemaker Eric Baugher's notes (back label text) - Zinfandel, having suffered low yields for the past four years, rebounded, setting a large crop. Warm weather through September brought the grapes to ideal ripeness, and natural-yeast fermentations began immediately. When uninoculated secondaries finished, the wines were blind-tasted, selected, and blended. This appealing vintage is from grapes grown on seven vineyards in three Sonoma County valleys. It will be most enjoyable over the next five years. EB (7/13)

Tasting Notes - Garnet color; cherry and raspberry fruits, wintergreen, savory herbs, barrel spice; cherry fruit on entry, lively acidity, medium body, smooth tannin texture, gravelly-clay mineral finish. -Eric Baugher (2/14)


History

The history of the Ridge Sonoma County Three Valleys began with the release of the 2001. The wine contains grapes from a number of Sonoma vineyards — this year, six. We take great care in selecting the fruit, which is hand-harvested, then crushed and fermented at both Monte Bello and Lytton Springs. Unlike our single-vineyard wines, which reflect the distinctive character of each site, Three Valleys represents the blending of vineyards — winemaking — at it's finest. Zinfandel determines the wine’s varietal character; old-vine carignane contributes bright fruit and acidity; petite sirah spice, depth of color, and firm tannins.

Vineyard

Three Valleys map

First RIDGE Sonoma County Three Valleys: 2001
Location: Two vineyards in Dry Creek, three in Alexander, and one in Russian River Valley.
Soils: Varied, with a predominance of gravelly loam; gravelly clay loam on hillsides.
Vines: Approximately 20% eighty to one-hundred years old, 50% thirty-five to forty-five years, 30% seven to fourteen years.
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned.
Yields: 1.5 - 3.0 tons per acre

Growing Season

Three Valleys soil

Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Wet spring and long, mild summer.

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 16 September - 26 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.5°
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed; pressed at nine days on average.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 28% one and two years old, and 62% three, four and five years old).
Aging: Ten months in barrel

Winemaking

All grapes hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts followed by a full malolactic on the natural-occurring bacteria; a total of 0.88 grams/liter tartaric acid; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 128ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; membrane sterile filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


Miscellaneous

Bottle UPC Packaged SRP Notes
750mL 744442081004 12x750mL $23 60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)

 

SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
Three Valleys® is a registered trademark of Ridge Vineyards, Inc. in the US and other countries.


Press

  • Connoisseurs' Guide Connoisseurs' Guide (September 2014): "Deep, clean-as-can-be, ripe-berry fruit is teamed with a trim bit of sweet oak in the very well-focused aromas and incisively varietal flavors of this nicely made youngster, and the wine earns higher marks yet for its exemplary structure and balance. It is at once zesty and polished with great fruity precision, and its fine fit and finish ensure that it will grow for many years." Rated: 90 (*)