Santa Cruz Mountains
The 2007 growing season began early on Monte Bello Ridge. Spring rains subsided by late March, allowing the vines to set a full crop. Zinfandel can thrive here in the daytime warmth above the fog line of San Francisco Bay, despite cool nights. Rainy weather—unusual in October—prompted us to harvest quickly before damage could occur. The grapes were crushed to two small tanks, where natural fermentation began on the third day, and finished by the seventh. Rich press wine was combined with the free run, providing deep color and complex spice. Natural malolactic was slow, finishing by year’s end. The wine aged for fifteen months in three- and five-year-old air-dried american oak barrels, and clarified by settling and quarterly rackings off the lees. The rich berry fruit of this full-bodied Jimsomare beautifully balances its firm acidity. Enjoyable now, it will continue to develop over the next fifteen years.
Since the 1960s, Ridge has made small quantities—ranging from five
to seventeen barrels—of wine from this nineteenth-century parcel. A
number of you are familiar with our Jimsomare Zinfandel. The vines were planted by Alsatian Pierre Klein, a San Francisco restaurateur famous for his Bordeaux-varietal wines, which won gold medals at the Paris Exposition of 1900. But it was his zinfandel plantings that survived Prohibition and the Depression. In 1936, San Francisco’s Schwabacher family purchased Klein’s Mira Valle property, re-naming it “Jimsomare,” for James (father and son), Sophie (wife and mother), and Marie Louise (daughter), In 1966, vineyard manager Elmano Homem pruned the long-neglected vines, and brought the vineyard back to life. Ridge harvested the zinfandel in 1967. It was our first wine from the ranch. (We took over farming at Jimsomare in 1996; it is now considered the “lower” (1400′ – 2000′) Monte Bello vineyard.)
Rainfall: Thirty inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early June
Weather: Moderate summer/fall, long, cool growing season.
Harvest Dates: 6 October
Grapes: Average Brix 2˚
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary.
Pressed at seven days.
Selection: Nineteen of the thirty-six Monte Bello Vineyard
parcels make up this Santa Cruz Mountains Estate.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (2% 2-years,
50% 3-years, 48% 5-years old)
Time in barrel: Twelve months
Average Rating: 89.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 40
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