96% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Sirah
These old vines grow in clay loam a mile west of the Russian River, bordering our Geyserville vineyards. Winter rain was below average; fortunately, some fell late in spring and soaked the clay, which then supplied water throughout an unusually hot summer. Water stress did show in September, prompting us to start sampling early, and harvest was complete by September 26. The grapes were destemmed, and crushed to a tank fitted with a grid for submerged-cap fermentation. Twice-daily pump-overs gave good extraction. We pressed on the sixth day, and included all press wine. The warm season reduced natural acidity, hastening malolactic. The finished wine was transferred to american oak barrels, and racked off the lees every three months for natural clarification. This is our sixth vintage from this ranch. Amazingly balanced and complex, it will develop fully over the next five years.
Originally a part of the Rancho Sotoyomi land grant, these one hundred acres were purchased in the mid-1800s by Archibald Carmichael. Ridge began farming the western half of the ranch in 2000. The soils differ considerably between the upper and lower blocks. The Carmichael comes from just east of the abandoned right of way of the old Northwestern Pacific railroad. This is our sixth release from the ranch.
Rainfall: 34 inches (below average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Dry winter with spring rains, followed by a warm, dry summer.
Harvest Date: 26 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1˚
Fermentation: A six day natural fermentation was carried out in small fermentors; pressed early; the natural secondary fermentation finished in mid-October.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak: (15 % new, 85% two to four years old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
All Estate grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 120 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: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 75
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