79% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah
Aromas of blackberry vanilla and cassis followed by a dark fruit and mineral palate. Ample acidity and very full but well coated tannins round out the finish. EB (6/10)
After two years of full yields, this Spring Mountain District vineyard above Napa Valley set a very small crop in 2008. Despite mild summer weather, the grapes were ripe by Labor Day, two weeks earlier than usual. Harvest began September 5 with the young zinfandel, and ended the next week with the thirty-six year old petite sirah; individual parcels fermented separately on their natural yeasts. We pressed as the wines went dry, at eleven days on average. Following natural malolactic, we tasted the finished wines, selecting the five most intense to represent the vintage. The combined lots then aged for fourteen months in air-dried american oak. This full-bodied wine shows the rustic flavors and firm structure typical of zinfandel from York Creek. It will evolve over the next seven to eight years. JO (11/09)
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: Thirty inches (below normal)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: A dry spring and a warm, dry summer with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 5 – 11 September.
Grapes: Average Brix 24.8
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary (68% submerged, 32% floating cap). Pressed at eleven days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 25% one to two years old and 55% three to five years old).
Time in Barrel: Twelve months
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar (May-June 2011): “Glass-staining ruby. Pungent, expressive aromas of blackberry, cherry pit, licorice and oak spices, with a hint of dried flowers. Juicy and focused but youthfully gripping, with a bitter quality to the distinctly ripe flavors of cherry compote, dark berries and licorice. The bitter cherry and oak spice notes repeating on the punchy finish. I’ll bet that some bottle aging will bring more finesse. There’s 21% petite sirah in this wine and it shows today.” -Josh Raynolds (90+ points)
Tasting Panel The Tasting Panel (October 2010): “Crisp and racy with lovely plum, berry and spice flavors with superb structure and elegant acidity; a lovely sophisticated take on Zin; fresh, bright and balanced with a long, stylish finish.” (Rated: 92)
Average Rating: 89.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 61
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