72% Zinfandel, 12% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Syrah, 1% Grenache, 1% Alicante Bouschet
Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys
Nose of briary blackberry fruit, licorice and a touch of vanilla. Medium to full-bodied palate with plum and black cherry fruit, well rounded tannins and balanced acidity on the finish.
An unusually cool growing season was interrupted in late August by two days of record-high temperatures, which damaged half the zinfandel crop. The sunburned clusters were cut out; fortunately, the remaining fruit ripened fully. The grapes fermented on naturally-present yeasts for ten days on average, extracting ample color and elegant tannins. After extensive tasting, we chose the most accessible lots from seven ranches for this, our only multi-vineyard wine. Aged for twelve months in american oak, the wine was clarified by racking, and filtered at bottling. Appealing fruit and bright acidity make this Three Valleys enjoyable now; it will be at its best over the next five years. JO/EB (10/11)
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, seven. 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 itâ€™s finest. Zinfandel determines the wineâ€™s varietal character; old-vine carignane contributes bright fruit and acidity; petite sirah spice, depth of color, and firm tannins; grenache brings briary fruit and lively tannins.
Rainfall: 42 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; two days of damaging heat in late August and a long, mild fall.
Harvest Dates: 13 September – 14 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.8
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 eight days on average.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (45% new and one year old, 20% two years old, and 35% three to five years old).
Aging: Eleven months
All grapes hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed, except syrah left as whole berry. Fermented on the native yeasts followed by a full malolactic on the natural-occurring bacteria. 0.26 g/L tartaric acid added and minimum effective sulfur (35ppm at crush, 209 ppm over the course of aging). Eight fresh egg whites per barrel fining of three lots to moderate tannins. Membrane filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 88.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 115
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