Santa Cruz Mountains
Garnet color. Raspberry and dried cranberry, wood spice, forest floor. Penetrating red fruits on entry, moderate acidity, medium/full body, elegant tannins.
Winter was short, and unusually warm. The vines carried a heavy crop through summer; we thinned at veraison to even ripening and intensify flavors. A vigorous natural yeast fermentation began on day two, and finished on day six. After malolactic, sixteen months of barrel age has matured flavors fully. Beautifully balanced, showing complex mountain fruit, this wine will be most enjoyable over the next seven to eight years.
Since the late 1960s, Ridge has made small quantities—ranging from five to seventeen barrels—of wine from this nineteenth-century vineyard. A number of you are familiar with our Jimsomare Zinfandel. The vines were planted by Alsatian Pierre Klein, a San Francisco restaurateur. While famous for his Bordeaux-varietal wines, which won gold medals at the Paris Exposition of 1900, it was his zinfandel plantings that survived Prohibition and the Depression. In 1936, San Francisco’s Schwabacher family purchased Klein’s Mira Valle property, re-naming it “Jimsomare,” for James (father and son), Sophie (wife and mother), and Marie Louise (daughter). In 1966, vineyard manager Elmano Homem pruned the long-neglected vines, and brought the vineyard back to life. Ridge first harvested the zinfandel in 1968. We shared in replanting the cabernet vineyards adding some chardonnay acreage as well and took over the farming of the ranch in 1996; it is now considered the “lower” (1400′ – 2000′) Monte Bello vineyard.
Rainfall: 20 inches (below average)
Bloom: Mid June
Weather: Moderate summer and fall.
Harvest Dates: 16 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.3˚
Fermentation: Grapes were destemmed and fully crushed; fermented with a floating cap and pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (24% new, 39% four years old and 35% five years old)
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel
All estate grown Monte Bello Vineyard grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 70 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.
Ingredients: Ingredients: Hand harvested, sustainably grown estate grapes; indigenous yeasts; naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective SO2
Average Rating: 90.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 23
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