100% Petite Sirah
The petite sirah on Spring Mountain’s York Creek vineyards ripened in the last days of September. The handpicked fruit was destemmed, but with rollers open—allowing roughly half the berries to reach the fermen-tors unbroken. Fermentation took place on thenaturally-occurring yeasts; for better control of tannin extraction, the cap was allowed to float. We pressed the several lots at six days on average; they completed a natural (uninoculated) malolactic three weeks later. A fresh egg white fining has softened the considerable tannins. This classic York Creek was aged entirely in four-year-old neutral barrels to preserve its lovely spice and sweet fruit. Approachable now, it will develop fully over the next fifteen years.
In 1968, Fritz Maytag purchased the Hummel Ranch near the top of Spring Mountain on the west side of Napa Valley. The property
rises from 1250′ to over 2000′, and its climate is cooler than that of the valley below. Most of the land is forested and wild—the watershed of its namesake, York Creek. There are several petite sirah blocks on the ranch. Planted in the early years of the last century, the Devil’s Hill vines were the oldest. In 1971, Ridge made its first York Creek Petite Sirah from their intense fruit. By 1980 Ridge was also taking the grapes from Dynamite Hill planted in 1973 from Devil’s Hill cuttings. Dynamite Hill, at thirty-three years of age, now provides virtually all the grapes for these wines.
The Advance Tasting Program is a logical extension of Ridge’s long-standing dedication to single-vineyard winemaking. Our interest in distinctive sites, regardless of size, has led us to produce some wines in quantities ranging from five to fifty-five barrels. These are available only through the winery.
Rainfall: Most in mid-winter, little in spring, water stressed by August. (less than normal)
Weather: Moderate spring and summer, warm autumn.
Harvest dates: September 25 – 27, 2002
Grapes: Average brix 25.6˚
Fermentation: 100% whole-berry, floating cap. 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation. Drained & pressed at 6 days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried four-year-old american oak barrels
Aging: Eighteen months in barrel
Average Rating: 90.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 41
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