2011 Carmichael Zinfandel

2011 Carmichael Zinfandel

Wine Information

82% Zinfandel, 8% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet

Vintage

2011

Vineyard

Carmichael

Appellation

Alexander Valley

Alcohol By Volume

14.8%

Vintage Notes

This forty-acre vineyard, named for the 19thcentury landowner, Archibald Carmichael, was restored by Ridge starting in 2000. The oldest vines were kept in production, while fallow areas were replanted. From west to east, the soil changes from gravel to clay loam. Harvesting for the first time, we noticed significant differences in wines from the two soils. This year’s selection includes vines that lie at the transition between the two. One parcel is a vineyard blend; another is planted, in separate rows, to petite sirah and zinfandel. The remaining four parcels are old-vine zinfandel from the clay soils to the east. Low yields and unusually cool weather developed deep color and rich tannins in the wine. Fully ripe, its lovely fruit can best be enjoyed over the next six to eight years.

History

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 seventh release from the ranch.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 40 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late-May
Weather: Wet spring followed by an atypically cool summer; with no sustained heat spells.

Winemaking

Harvest Date: 21 – 24 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.6˚
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: (17% new, 19% one year old, 22% two to three years old and 42% four to five years old).
Aging: Fifteen 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. 0.59 g/L tartaric acid added; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 102 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.

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 89.8

No. of Tasting Notes: 44

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