78% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane
Deep ruby color, nose of red cherry, plum and vanilla. Medium bodied, wet stone, chapparal, tangy red fruit, elegant tannins and a lingering finish. (JO)
After a second winter of little rain, warm, even summer temperatures provided excellent conditions for these interplanted 80-year-old vines to ripen. We harvested Top Block on September 15, and returned a week later for House Block. After fermentation, the two were combined and transferred to american oak barrels. Twenty percent new oak complements the ripe fruit. This elegant zinfandel is generous in spicy fruit, chalky tannins, and refreshing acidity. Enjoyable now, it will be at its best over the next five or six years. JO (9/13)
This wine comes from a small planting of old-vine zinfandel on the Buchignani Ranch on Dutcher Creek Road in the hills north of Dry Creek Valley (Carignane planted on the rest of the ranch provides a separate ATP selection.) The zinfandel block, approximately five acres in size, was planted in the 1940s and ’50s on a rocky knoll overlooking the family home where Stan Buchignani, grandson of the ranch’s founder, Domenico Cerruti, lives today.
Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Warm spring and a long, mild summer that nicely ripened grapes.
Harvest Date: 15 September and 22 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.6˚
Fermentation: Grapes fermented on the naturally-occurring yeasts. Pressed at 11 days. Full malolactic carried out without inoculation.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 50% one to two years old, 30% three to four years old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand harvested; sustainably farmed grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 1 g/L tartaric acid added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 124 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
The International Wine Report (October 2016): 93 Points – “The 2012 Ridge ‘Buchignani Ranch’ Zinfandel is already developing beautifully. This wine begins with aromatics of red cherries, dill, sage, and hints of sassafras. This leads to flavors of mint, red cherries, red raspberries and crushed stones all working their way through the wine. This shows wonderful purity of fruit, as it is another awesome release from this estate. (Best 2016-2025)” – (OB)
Average Rating: 90.4
No. of Tasting Notes: 24
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