97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah
A late spring delayed the growing season on much of the North Coast, but lessened the risk of frost damage to the low-lying parcels at Carmichael Ranch. Abundant late rain sustained the vines through an extremely warm, dry summer. The two parcels of twenty-year-old vines that make up this zinfandel were hand-harvested, fermented on their natural yeasts in small, open top tanks, then drained and pressed after six days; the rich complex press wine was added to the free-run. After natural, in-barrel malolactic on the lees, the wine was racked to new, one-year-, and three-year-old air-dried american oak barrels. Five months before bottling, we added a small amount of petite sirah from a neighboring parcel to enhance structure. The beautifully focused fruit of this elegant zinfandel makes it immediately approachable. It will be at its best over the next four to five 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 second release from the ranch. The wine comes from century-old zinfandel vines, inter planted with small amounts of carignane and petite sirah.
Rainfall: Above average, over 60 inches
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Cool, wet spring and warm dry summer; no intense heat at harvest.
Harvest date: 24 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.3°
Fermentation: A short six-day natural fermentation carried out in small fermentors; early pressed; finished natural secondary fermentation in three weeks.
Aging: Air-dried american oak: 12% new, 78% one and three year-old, 11% four to six-year-old barrels.
Time in barrel: Fourteen months
Average Rating: 90.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 34
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