88% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah
90 Points – Wine Spectator
Garnet color. Ripe raspberry and cherry fruit aromas, sweet toasted oak, clay minerals, and white flowers. Beautiful red fruits on entry, medium-bodied, fine grain tannins, elegant; smooth, long finish. EB (12/18)
Despite a fifth winter with little rain, the clay soils at Carmichael held the water, sustaining the vines through the summer. Harvested mid-September, zinfandel and petite sirah grapes were crushed together for co-fermentation. The two complimented each other, and made a beautifully complex wine with elegant tannins. It has immediate appeal, but will continue to develop over the next 4-6 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 eight acres on the upper half of the ranch in 2000. The soils differ considerably between the upper and lower blocks. The Carmichael Zinfandel 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 thirteenth release from the ranch.
Rainfall: 32 inches (below normal)
Weather: A wet December and January helped ease the drought. Cool weather in April reduced our crop a bit. Harvest started early September and finished quickly.
Harvest Dates: 14 -15 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.3˚
Fermentation: Seven day fermentation in small fermentors; 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation. 100% floating cap.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak: 25% new, 64% three years old, 11% four years old.
Aging: Eighteen 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; 0.81 g/L tartaric acid added; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 93 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.
Wine Spectator (June 2019): (90 Points). “Zesty, loaded with briar notes, this old school Zin offers black cherry, sweet anise and white pepper flavors. Drink now through 2025.” – T.F.
Average Rating: 91
No. of Tasting Notes: 17
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