82% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah
90 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine
Full garnet color. Appealing raspberry fruit, wintergreen/mintiness, milky-creamy oak, strawberries, and clay earth. Fresh fruit entry, medium body, creamy textured tannins, sweet cherry core fruit, and elegant; persistent mineral finish. EB (3/17)
Despite continued drought, the vines carried a large crop. Warm summer weather fully ripened the grapes for a mid-September harvest. Submerged-cap fermentation provided excellent tannin extraction. Three parcels, containing a mix of zinfandel and petite sirah vines planted in clay sub-soil, were combined. The wine aged for fifteen months in two- and four-year-old american oak barrels. Appealing now, it will be enjoyable over the next five to six years.
Originally a part of the Rancho Sotoyome Spanish land grant, these one hundred acres were purchased in the mid-1800s by Archibald Carmichael. Ridge began farming the upper half of the ranch in 2000. The soils differ considerably between the upper and lower blocks. The Carmichael comes principally from the west side of the abandoned right of way of the old Northwestern Pacific railroad where soils transition from gravel to clay. This is our eleventh release from the ranch.
Rainfall: 18 inches (1/2 of normal)
Bloom: Mid-May, with veraison by mid-August
Weather: Very dry and cold December and January; most of the rain fell February through April. Cool spring and early summer delayed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 12- 15 September
Grapes: Average brix 24.6
Fermentation: Twelve day fermentation in small fermentors; natural primary and secondary fermentation.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak: (44% two years old and 66% four years old).
Aging: 15 months in barrel
All Estate grown grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.07 g/L tartaric acid added; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm 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.
Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine (September 2017): 90 Points – “A whiff of chocolate creeps into the aromas of this fully ripened wine, and, if its fruit is also well-defined, it is somewhat heavy and wants a slightly zestier note to reach for the ratings peak for which it challenges but ultimately falls a tad short. Viscous to the point of being more than just supple, and benefitting from the grippy nature of its Petite Sirah addition, the wine is capable of holding up in bottle for a half-decade or more but promises to come good in less.”
Average Rating: 90.4
No. of Tasting Notes: 64
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