68% Zinfandel, 11% Carignane, 10% Syrah, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Grenache
Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys
“Three Valleys” is the Ridge proprietary name for its only wine blended from multiple vineyard sites. To make it, we select softer, more accessible lots from our single vineyards, combining them to create the character we think will be most appealing. Younger vines on the Lytton Springs Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley provided roughly half the fruit; a third came from Geyserville, Mazzoni, and Stone Ranch Vineyards in Alexander Valley; the balance is from Pagani Ranch in the cool Sonoma Valley. The wines fermented on their natural yeasts, were pressed, on average, after eight days, and finished a natural (uninoculated) malolactic within four weeks. Enjoyable now, this spicy, beautifully-defined zinfandel blend will develop fully over the next four or five years. EB, JO, PD (1/06)
The history of Ridge’s Sonoma County Three Valleys began with the release of the 2001. The wine contains grapes from a number of Sonoma vineyards – this year, thirteen. We take great care in selecting the fruit, which is hand-harvested, then crushed and fermented at Monte Bello and Lytton Springs. Unlike our single-vineyard wines, which reflect the distinctive character of each site, Three Valleys represents the blending of vineyards – winemaking at its finest. Zinfandel fruit determines the wine’s varietal character; old-vine carignane contributes its own bright fruit and acidity; petite sirah and syrah add peppery spice, depth of color, and firm structure; grenache brings briar fruit and lively tannins.
Rainfall: Less than forty inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Dry winter and warm spring
Harvest Dates: 15 August – 2 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.1
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks; fermenting juice circulated over the cap twice daily for extraction of color, tannin, and flavor. Full, natural malolactic to soften acidity. Pressed at eight days on average.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (14% new and one year old, 45% two years old, 41% three to six years old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
Wine Advocate (30 Jun 2006): “This venerable producer, with as fine a track record as any winery in the world, continues to turn out high quality Zinfandels. Thrifty consumers will no doubt get a juicy charge from the 2004 Three Valleys, a proprietary blend of 68% Zinfandel, 11% Carignane, 10% Syrah, and the rest Petite Sirah and Grenache. A pretty, elegant wine with lush raspberry and black cherry fruit, a seductive texture, medium body, 14.1% alcohol, and beautiful integration of acidity, wood, and tannin, it should drink well for 2-3 years.” Rated: 89
Connoisseurs’ Guide (May 2006): “Mostly Zinfandel in composition and primarily Zin in its blackberry character, this wine is just a little more open on the palate than most its peers, including its Ridge mates, and it also shows hints of sweet strawberries and vanilla in its inviting mix. Time in bottle is not a prerequisite here, but the wine has the balance and fruit to hold up well.” Rated: 88 (*)
Average Rating: 88.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 51
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