90% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
As always, the primary and secondary fermentations were carried out by naturally-occurring yeasts and malolactic bacteria. The old-vine zinfandel was fermented in small tanks, the grapes held beneath the surface of the juice for slow, gentle extraction—a process known as submerged-cap fermentation. The petite sirah and carignan were also fermented in small tanks, but the juice was pumped over a floating cap of grapes. Malolactic fermentation finished soon after the end of primary; the fifteen separate parcels were blind-tasted over a period of three weeks. The finest—and most typical of the vineyard’s character—were assembled to make this wine, which was then transferred to air-dried american oak for aging. To complement the wine’s full, luscious fruit, only twenty percent went to new barrels; while the rest was aged primarily in one- and two year old wood, adding spice and structure to the wine. After five racks and more than a year in barrel, it was bottled without fining. This intense, complex wine combines the raspberry typical of the site with the deep, darker blackberry often found in old-vine zinfandel. Petite sirah adds a spicy chocolate note that complements the bright zinfandel. The opulent, forward fruit will be at its most appealing in the first four or five years. For those willing to set a bottle or two aside, the wine’s substantial structure and fine balance assure a different pleasure after ten, or even twelve, years of aging.
Ridge wine is made with an emphasis on quality and naturalness that is rarely attempted. Our grapes are grown in select vineyards (usually identified on the label), where they are left to ripen to peak maturity, often at some loss of quantity. We let the wine settle and age in small barrels, with only rare cellar treatment other than racking. Varieties are not blended unless indicated on the label. Near Black Mountain on Monte Bello Ridge, our main vineyard is 10 miles south of Palo Alto, 15 miles inland from the ocean, and over 2000 feet in elevation.
See all food pairing recipes we have created specifically for this wine.See pairings