77% Zinfandel, 23% Carignane
The Llewelyn vineyard is situated on Dutcher Creek Road, in the westernmost hills of the Alexander Valley viticultural area. It was first planted to zinfandel in the 1890s. Two small blocks of carignane interplanted with zinfandel were established in 1913; in the 1960s, and again in the 1990s, more zinfandel was added. In this vintage, the zinfandel grapes were crushed into small open tanks, and held submerged for full extraction. The carignane fermented in three-ton closed tanks; the grapes were left floating. All parcels fermented on their own yeasts, and completed a natural malolactic fermentation. From a five-lot total, we selected the hundred-ten-year-old zinfandel and the eighty-seven-year-old carignane for complexity, and included the very ripe thirty-five-year-old zinfandel for richness. This full, soft wine is delicious now; it will be at its best over the next four or five years.
Since 1962, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, exploring California in search of those rare sites where climate, soil, and varietal are ideally matched. Our aim is to guide the natural process; using traditional methods and minimal handling, we strive to produce the highest quality wines from superior and distinctive fruit.