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Santa Cruz Mountains
Garnet color. Appealing ripe raspberry fruit aroma, forest floor, and exotic oak spices. Intense plum fruit on entry, medium-full bodied, solid tannin frame, firm acid, and a long, sensuous finish. EB (7/18)
Having not made a 2015 due to a lack of intensity, the 2016 came back with superb quality. Late September warmth fully ripened the grapes for harvest. In the cool-climate of Monte Bello, zinfandel develops excessive acidity which is often moderated during fermentation. The wine developed beautiful complexity during eighteen months in barrel. Though enjoyable now, the tannins will soften with another eight to ten 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. In the 1970s and 80s we shared in replanting the cabernet vineyards adding some chardonnay acreage as well and took over the farming of the ranch in 1996 as part of our Monte Bello Estate. We now refer to it by its original owner’s name as the Klein Ranch. (1400’ – 2000’).
Rainfall: 21.9 inches (below normal)
Weather: A very wet December and January helped ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Cool weather in April reduced our crop a bit. Harvest started in late September and finished quickly.
Harvest Date: September 26th
Grapes: Average Brix 26.3˚
Fermentation: 100% full crush, floating cap. 100% natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations. Average days of fermentation: 8 days
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak; 50% new, 50% two years old.
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel.
Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes; wholecluster pressed; fermented on the native yeasts; full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 110 ppm during barrel aging). In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 93.4
No. of Tasting Notes: 7
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