2006 Three Valleys

2006 Three Valleys

Wine Information

80% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 5% Grenache

Vintage

2006

Appellation

Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys

Alcohol By Volume

14.3%

Vintage Notes

“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)

History

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.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 55 inches (above normal).
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: Wet spring and warm, dry summer with rain at end of harvest.

Winemaking

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

Press

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

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 88.3

No. of Tasting Notes: 139

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