75% Grenache, 20% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
A very late spring pushed the grenache back a full month, and significantly reduced yields. The ten and thirty-year-old vines on the west vineyard came in a week earlier than the hundred-year-old vines on the eastern hills. Fine fall weather made it possible for all three, in turn, to be harvested at full ripeness. Only the natural yeast was used for fermentation; we circulated the juice over a floating cap of grapes in each of the small tanks to extract color and tannin. After a natural secondary (malolactic) fermentation, the wine was racked to air-dried american oak barrels, ninety percent of which were one and two years old. This complex, elegant grenache is beautifully structured. It will be at its best over the next five years.
Ridge became involved with grenache quite by accident when, in 1972, we first harvested the vines on the eastern hills of Lytton Springs. Though we didn’t know it then, one of the hills—planted in 1902—had a high percentage of grenache, interplanted with small amounts of zinfandel and petite sirah. We purchased the eastern vineyards in 1991, and identified the varietal percentages in each parcel; in 1992, those old mixed vines produced our first Grenache/Zinfandel. Ridge bought Lytton Springs’ western vineyards in 1995, acquiring a mixed grenache block planted in 1963 and a grenache-only block planted in 1991. With this amount—and quality—to select from, in most years we can now make a wine dominated by the varietal.
Average Rating: 91
No. of Tasting Notes: 2
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