80% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 5% Grenache
Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys
“Three Valleys” is the proprietary name for the only Ridge wine blended from multiple vineyard sites. We select softer, more accessible lots from our single vineyards and, taking the role of winemaker literally, create a character we find most appealing. Younger vines from Lytton Estate provided most of the fruit; older vines on five small Alexander Valley vineyards and one Russian River vineyard make up the rest. The grapes fermented on their own yeasts in small-capacity tanks. Pressed, on average, by the seventh day, they completed a natural malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked to american oak barrels, whose staves had been air (not kiln) dried for twenty-four months. We blind-tasted all the lots in spring, creating this elegant blend. Our sixth vintage of Three Valleys contains the highest percentage of zinfandel to date. Sensuous structure and rich fruit give the wine immediate appeal; it will be most enjoyable over the next five years. JO/EB (6/07)
The history of the Ridge Sonoma County Three Valleys began with the release of the 2001. The wine contains grapes from a number of Sonoma vineyards – this year, nine. We take great care in selecting the fruit, which is hand-harvested, then crushed and fermented at both 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 tannins; grenache brings briar fruit and lively tannins.
Rainfall: 55 inches (above normal).
Weather: Wet spring and warm, dry summer with rain at end of harvest.
Harvest Dates: 12 September – 26 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.0
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 (33% new and one year old, 8% two years old, 59% four to seven years old).
Aging: Six months
Wine & Spirits (February 2009): Year”s Best Zinfandel – “One of the friendliest Ridge zins we’ve tasted in a long time, this is exuberant and focused on fresh black cherry flavors. It has a cool, foresty feel to balance the tannins and their lasting spice. Give those tannins anything meaty, especially slow-smoked ribs.” Rated: 93
Wine Spectator (29 September 2008): “A ripe bruiser, yet with an underlying sense of structure and finesse. Shows aromas of blueberry pie and toasty dill, with concentrated plum, licorice and smoky pepper flavors that are wrapped in muscular tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Grenache. Best from 2010 through 2015.” (Rated: 89) -Tim Fish
Wine & Spirits (June 2008): “One of the friendliest Ridge zins we’ve tasted in a long time, this is exuberant and focused on fresh black cherry flavors. It has a cool, foresty feel to balance the tannins and their lasting spice. Give those tannins anything meaty, especially slow-smoked ribs.” Rated: 93
Average Rating: 88.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 139
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