79% Zinfandel, 12% Carignane, 8% Petite Sirah, 1% Alicante Bouschet
Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valleys
Garnet color; cherry and raspberry fruits, wintergreen, savory herbs, barrel spice; cherry fruit on entry, lively acidity, medium body, smooth tannin texture, gravelly-clay mineral finish.
Zinfandel, having suffered low yields for the past four years, rebounded, setting a large crop. Warm weather through September brought the grapes to ideal ripeness, and natural-yeast fermentations began immediately. When uninoculated secondaries finished, the wines were blind-tasted, selected, and blended. This appealing vintage is from grapes grown on seven vineyards in three Sonoma County valleys. It will be most enjoyable over the next five years. EB (7/13)
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, six. 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 it’s finest. Zinfandel determines the wine’s varietal character; old-vine carignane contributes bright fruit and acidity; petite sirah spice, depth of color, and firm tannins.
Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Wet spring and long, mild summer.
Harvest Dates: 16 September – 26 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.5
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed; pressed at nine days on average.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 28% one and two years old, and 62% three, four and five years old).
Aging: Ten months in barrel.
All grapes hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts followed by a full malolactic on the natural-occurring bacteria; a total of 0.88 grams/liter tartaric acid; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 128ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; membrane sterile filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions. Ingredients: Hand harvested, sustainably grown grapes; indigenous yeasts; naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; tartaric acid; oak from barrels; minimum effective SO2.
Wine Advocate (Issue 215, October 2014): “The 2012 Proprietary Red Three Valleys is composed of 82% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah and the rest Carignane and Alicante Bouchet. This sexy wine (14.2% natural alcohol) reveals lots of raspberry and black cherry fruit, medium to full body, beautiful purity, delicate notes of spice, and no hint of oak. Enjoy this fleshy red over the next 3-4 years.” (Rated: 90)
Connoisseurs’ Guide (September 2014): “Deep, clean-as-can-be, ripe-berry fruit is teamed with a trim bit of sweet oak in the very well-focused aromas and incisively varietal flavors of this nicely made youngster, and the wine earns higher marks yet for its exemplary structure and balance. It is at once zesty and polished with great fruity precision, and its fine fit and finish ensure that it will grow for many years.” Rated: 90 (*)
San Francisco Chronicle (7 December 2014) – Top 100 Wines: 60 Values under $40 from top wineries – Ridge 2012 Three Valleys
Average Rating: 88.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 213
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