93% Petite Sirah, 7% Zinfandel
Spring Mountain, Napa Valley
Cool spring weather slowed the York Creek growing season. Full flavors did not develop until mid-October, when we harvested at ideal ripeness. Each parcel was picked separately; a small percentage of the young vines were combined with the older Dynamite Hill for the final wine. All the grapes were destemmed, but left uncrushed, to enhance fruit and moderate tannin extraction. A slow, natural-yeast fermentation allowed a long (two week) maceration. During that time, juice was pumped daily over the floating cap of skins. After natural malolactic, the wine was racked to air-dried american oak barrels. Rich and robust, this is an excellent example of hillside-grown petite sirah. Enjoyable as a young wine, it will continue to improve over the next five to ten years. JO (11/08)
In 1968, Fritz Maytag purchased the Herbert Hummel ranch on Spring Mountain, west of St. Helena in Napa Valley. This beautiful property rises from 1250′ to over 2000′, and its climate is cooler than that of the valley below. Most of the land is forested and wild—the watershed of its namesake, York Creek. There are several petite sirah blocks on the ranch. Planted in the early years of the last century, the Devil’s Hill vines were the oldest. In 1971, Ridge used their fruit to make its first York Creek Petite Sirah. The story of how this came about starts in 1967, when Fritz and Paul Draper—friends, at Stanford—set up a winery in Chile’s coast range. When Paul returned to California, joining Ridge as winemaker in August of 1969 it made sense for Fritz to send Paul these amazing grapes. By 1980 Ridge was also taking the grapes from Dynamite Hill planted in 1973 on old Devil’s Hill cuttings. Dynamite Hill, now thirty-six years old, dominates our York Creek petite sirah bottlings.
Rainfall: 35 inches (below normal)
Weather: Dry spring and typical warm, dry summer with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest dates: 11 – 19 October
Grapes: Average Brix: 23.6
Fermentation: 100% Whole berry, floating cap. 100% Natural primary and secondary fermentation. Drained and pressed at 13 days
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new and 60% two and three years old, 20% four years old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand harvested sustainably grown grapes; destemmed with half the whole berries broken; fermented on the native yeasts; followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush; 187 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 89.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 75
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