68% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 5% Grenache
91 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
90 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
Appealing now, the wine shows beautiful fruit, layered with exotic spice, and complex minerals. It will be most enjoyable over the next five years. JO/EB (12/17)
A fifth year of drought threatened to leave the vines short on water. Thankfully late spring storms carried them through a very warm summer. Harvest started two weeks earlier than usual and quality was superb. Short fermentations extracted elegant tannins.
The history of the Ridge Three Valleys began with the release of the 2001. The wine contains grapes from a number of Sonoma vineyards—this year, eight. We take great care in selecting the fruit, which is hand-harvested, then crushed and fermented on its native yeast and naturally occurring malolactic at both Monte Bello and Lytton Springs wineries. 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: 31.6 inches
Weather: A wet December and January helped ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Cool weather in April reduced our crop a bit. Harvest started early (mid-August) and finished early October.
Harvest Dates: 20 August – 5 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.3˚
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed; pressed at ten days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (5% new, 49% one and two years old, and 46% three and four years old).
Aging: Ten months in barrel
Hand-harvested grapes, destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts followed by a full malolactic on the natural-occurring bacteria; a total of 0.17 grams/liter tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 116ppm over the course of aging); membrane sterile filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (Aug 2018): 91 Points “The 2016 Zinfandel Three Valleys is fabulous. Bright, floral and lifted, with very pretty red and purplish berry fruit, the 2016 holds tons of near and medium-term appeal. This mid-weight, gracious Zinfandel is all class. Best of all, pricing is around $30 a bottle. Don’t miss it.” – Antonio Galloni
JebDunnuck.com (February 2019): (90 Points). “The 2016 Zinfandel Three Valleys is outstanding and in 2016 is 68% Zinfandel, 15% Carignan, and the rest Petite Sirah and Grenache. Loaded with notions of wild strawberries, plums, spice box, and hints of violets, this medium-bodied effort has loads of charm and upfront appeal. Drink it over the coming 4-6 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck