78% Grenache, 11% Zinfandel, 6% Petite Sirah, 5% Syrah
Dry Creek Valley
Excellent yields gave us a grenache this year. The grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, for greater control of tannin extraction. A portion of the rich, complex press wine was included. We selected two old field-blend parcels, a small amount of syrah, and a nineteen-year-old grenache parcel for this wine. Enjoyable now, its appealing fruit and elegant tannins will continue to evolve over the next six to seven years.
Ridge became involved with grenache quite by accident when, in 1972, we first harvested the vines on the eastern hills of Lytton Springs. Though we didn’t know it then, one of the hills—planted in 1902—had a high percentage of grenache, interplanted with small amounts of zinfandel and petite sirah. We purchased the eastern vineyards in 1991, and identified the varietal percentages in each parcel; in 1992, those old mixed vines produced our first Grenache/Zinfandel. Ridge bought Lytton Springs’ western vineyards in 1995, acquiring a mixed grenache block planted in 1963 and a grenache-only block planted in 1991. With this amount—and quality—to select from, in most years we can now make a wine dominated by the varietal.
Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Weather: A warm spring and a long, mild summer that nicely ripened grapes.
Harvest Dates: 07 October
Grapes: Average brix 24.5˚
Fermentation: No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at five days.
Barrel: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% one year old, 50% three years old, and 25% four to five years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
Estate grown grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 1.12 grams/liter tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 99 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: 89.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 36
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