94% Zinfandel, 6% Petite Sirah
In the 1870s, the Independence School was built to serve the farming families south of Geyserville. Ridge first made this wine in 2003, with grapes from several small vineyard parcels in the former school district, and called it “Independence School.” In 2005 we again selected the ripest fruit from four parcels; for the Advanced Tasting Program bottling, we have renamed the wine “Old School.” Warm autumn weather in this year’s late growing season ripened the fruit and concentrated flavors. Natural yeast fermentations began on day two; by day six of twice-daily pump-overs, tasting revealed a fine, firm structure, and we pressed. After a natural malolactic in small tanks, the wine was racked to air-dried american-oak barrels for settling, and to begin aging. In the first week of the new year, the four parcels were combined and returned to barrel. This rich, complex zinfandel has layers of earth and spice; enjoyable now, its superb balance will allow for further development over the next eight to ten years.
The two-room Independence School was built in the 1870’s and served the ranches south of Geyserville for nearly a century. Several of the small vineyards we harvest in what is now Geyserville Township are located in the historic school district. The old school, now a residence, stands adjacent to the vineyards.
Rainfall: Sixty inches (slightly above normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Cool, wet spring; warm, dry summer
Harvest Dates: 19-21 September
Grapes: Average Brix: 25.8
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and fully crushed into small (1-5 ton capacity) fermentors. Natural yeast fermentation; pressed at six days. Uninoculated malolactic.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak (10% new, 34% one to two years; 56% three to five years old)
Aging: 14 months in barrel
Average Rating: 89.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 49
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