86% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah
Black pepper, mineral, mint and licorice on the nose. Rich and full on the palate with fig and black currant fruit, chaparral, well-integrated tannins, moderately long finish.
Of the zinfandel parcels on this rugged hillside vineyard high above Napa Valley, Kite Hill is one of the steepest and most exposed. Budbreak was early; after a warm, dry summer, we harvested on September 27. Following fermentation, petite sirah from a neighboring block was added for depth. To integrate the wine’s intense fruit and firm tannins required fourteen months of barrel aging. Dark, rich, and full-bodied, this mountain-grown zinfandel will be at its best over the next five or six years.
Kite Hill vines at York Creek, are situated high on Spring Mountain, overlooking St. Helena and the Napa Valley from the west. Ridge came here in 1971 for the old-vine petite sirah and made it’s first zinfandel from the vineyard in 1975. We first harvested Kite Hill in 1993, and have included it in our York Creek zinfandel in every vintage since. This is the first time it has been bottled as a separate wine.
Rainfall: Twenty-four inches (below normal)
Weather: Warm spring and a long, mild summer that nicely ripened the grapes.
Harvest dates: 27 September
Grapes: Average brix 26.1°
Fermentation: Grapes destemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap and pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 20% one year old, 60% two, three and four years old).
Time in barrel: Fourteen months
Kite Hill grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 3.6% water addition; 1 grams/liter tartaric acid added during fermentation; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 218 ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 89.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 46
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