99% Zinfandel, 1% Petite Sirah
Nose: Classic York Creek, pepper, minerals, coffee, dark fruit, eucalyptus, vanilla from new oak. Palate: Chalky tannins, peppery plum blackberry fruit, spicy oak, licorice, full structured wine, complex.
A long winter delayed the start of the growing season, but weather was ideal for flowering and set. After the low yields of 2005, the vines set a heavy crop. A warm, dry summer was well on its way to ripening the fruit when September turned cold and foggy, slowing progress. On September 27, to test ripeness, we harvested the stressed vines on Kite Hill, and a few from Race Track. Based on flavor and intensity, we held off further picking for two weeks, finishing by late October. Pressed at nine days, on average, the best press wines were combined with the free run. After a natural malolactic, the five lots were racked to barrel. We blind-tasted the wines in March, and selected three for the 2006. Aged in air-dried american oak, this opulent, complex zinfandel is enjoyable now, and will continue to develop over the next five to seven years. EB (2/08)
York Creek Vineyard, situated high on Spring Mountain, overlooks St. Helena and the Napa Valley from the west. Ridge came here in 1971 for the old-vine petite sirah. We first harvested York Creek zinfandel in 1975, and have made it in every vintage since.
Rainfall: Fifty-five inches (above normal)
Weather: A wet winter and spring. Warm, dry summer with rain at the end of harvest.
Harvest Dates: 27 September – 21 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.3
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. (32% floating cap.) Pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (11% new, 12% one year old, 35% two years old and 42% three to six years old).
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel
Wine & Spirits (February 2009): Year”s Best Zinfandel – “As saturated with fruit as this may be when first poured, it gains with air as the potent structural elements of oak and alcohol begin to meld into the ripe, black flavors of the wine. It’s powerful, yet gracefully restrained by pure, mineral tannins. A sleek vintage from Fritz Maytag’s York Creek Vineyard.” Rated: 93
International Wine Cellar (November-December 2008, Issue 141): “Deep ruby with a bright rim. Raspberry, cherry and cinnamon on the nose. Brighter than the Paso Robles bottling, with nervier red berry flavors and notes of vanilla and bitter chocolate. A medium-bodied zinfandel with fully absorbed tannins and impressive finishing lift. Sexy wine, and drinking well right now.” Rated: 90
Average Rating: 88.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 51
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