90% Zinfandel, 6% Carignane, 4% Petite Sirah
In 2004, flavor and sugar developed simultaneously, which caused earlier-than-usual ripeness in all our zinfandel vineyards. We harvested Carmichael in a single day-August 28. To avoid extracting excessive tannin, we pressed on day six of the natural primary fermentation. The natural malolactic (scondary) finished within ten days, and the wine was racked to air-dried american oak barrels for aging. This delicious quaffing zinfandel is enjoyable now, and will develop fully over the next three or four years.
Originally a part of the Rancho Sotoyomi land grant, these hundred acres were purchased in the mid-1800s by Archibald Carmichael. Ridge began farming the western half in 2000, and this is our first release from the ranch. The wine comes primarily from century-old zinfandel vines, interplanted with small amounts of carignane and petite sirah.
Rainfall: Below normal, less than 40 inches
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Dry winter/warm spring, harvested two weeks early.
Harvest date: 28 August
Grapes: Average brix 25.3°; average pH 3.45 at crush.
Fermentation: A short (six-day) natural fermentation carried out in small fermentors; early pressed; finished natural secondary fermentation quickly.
Aging: Air-dried american oak: 6% new, 94% four, five, and six-year-old barrels.
Time in barrel: Seventeen months
Average Rating: 88.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 30
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