100% Petite Sirah
Spring Mountain, Napa Valley
Dark opaque in color, peppery nose with hints of bacon fat and vanilla. Blackberry fruit, full bodied, firm tannic grip, rich, layered finish of mint and thyme. JO (7/20)
We first made this wine in 1971 from this rugged hillside vineyard. Petite sirah, typically used as a blending varietal with zinfandel, merits being made on its own in certain special sites such as York Creek. Despite limiting maceration time during fermentation to five days, the 2016 is a wine of deep, dark color and formidable structure. Twelve months aging in American oak helped integrate tannins. This full bodied complex petite sirah will mature over 15 years.
In 1968, Fritz Maytag purchased the Herbert Hummel ranch on Spring Mountain, west of St. Helena in Napa Valley. This beautiful property rises from 1250′ to over 2000′, and its climate is cooler than that of the valley below. Most of the land is forested and wild—the watershed of its namesake, York Creek. There are several petite sirah blocks on the ranch. Planted in the early years of the last century, the Devil’s Hill vines are the oldest. In 1971, Ridge used their fruit to make its first York Creek Petite Sirah. The story of how this came about starts in 1967, when Fritz and Paul Draper—friends at Stanford—set up a winery in Chile’s coast range. When Paul returned to California, joining Ridge as winemaker in August of 1969, it made sense for Fritz to send Paul these amazing grapes.
Rainfall: 38 inches (slightly below normal)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: A wet December and January helped ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Fine weather in May rebounded our crop to near normal levels. Harvest started early (late-August) and finished in mid-September.
Harvest Dates: 14 – 24 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.7˚
TA: 6.00 g/L
Fermentation: Whole berry, pumped over a floating cap once daily, pressed at five days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new, 20% one year-old, 30% three years-old, and 30% four years-old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested grapes; destemmed and partially 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 (35 ppm at crush; 95 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.
Average Rating: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 13
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