76% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 7% Syrah, 6%Grenache, 3% Carignane
Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys
A dry, short winter brought early bud break, and bloom by late March; our Sonoma vineyards ripened by September. Each parcel fermented on its natural yeasts. Color and tannin extracted easily, and we pressed, on average, after seven days. The style and character of the Three Valleys are determined by the lots we choose for their fruit, color, and/or structure. When malolactic finished, we assembled these lots from the ten individual vineyards that make up the 2007. In barrel, the wine clarified naturally, and tannins resolved in time for an August bottling. Rich fruit and exotic spice give immediate appeal. This excellent wine will be at its best over the next five to six years. JO/EB (6/08)
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: Thirty-five inches (normal)
Bloom: Budbreak and bloom were a bit early (March & May)
Weather: Spring was dry. Harvest began right on time, early September. The growing season was typical with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 26 August – 23 October
Grapes: Average brix 25.4
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 seven days on average.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (26% new and one year old, 17% two years old, 57% three to five years old).
Time in Barrel: Nine months
Wine Enthusiast (1 December 2009) – “An absolutely beautiful Zin, and a must-have for restaurant wine lists. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pure and complex in blackberries, cherries, cola and mocha, with wonderful spices erupting all the way though, and the most elegant silky texture. What a great job.” -Steve Heimoff
New York Times (11 November 2009) – Top-Rated Red Wine for Thanksgiving – “Sam brought our top-rated red, a 2007 Three Valleys zinfandel from Ridge. I always run counter to the Thanksgiving bromide that zinfandel is the perfect American wine for the most American holiday. Zinfandel is often too big and alcoholic. But at 14.3 percent, this zin was well balanced and almost sleek.” -Eric Asimov (Rated: 3.5 stars)
Connoisseurs’ Guide (May 2009): “When measured against its far riper cousins, this very well-balanced wine may seem a bit light on muscle, but what is really missing is fat, and, instead, it turns out to be both deep and quite long on bona fide fruity substance. Its careful composition and keen, claret-like structure mark it indelibly as an eminently food-worthy Zin for now and the next few years.” Rated: 90 (*)
Average Rating: 87.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 180
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