73% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 2% Grenache
91 Points – Wine Spectator
Deep garnet color. Fresh raspberry and cherry fruits, barrel spice, clay minerals, and fresh mint. Sweet red berry fruit entry, medium body, lively acid, and supple tannins. Long, elegant finish. EB (2/19)
Abundant rains ended the five year drought. A cold spring slowed vine growth, but a warm summer brought harvest back to a normal schedule. Eight days of fermentation, on average, produced an elegant tannin structure. American oak, used in aging, complements the beautiful fruit of this excellent vintage. It will be at its best over the next five years.
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, ten. 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 its finest. Zinfandel determines the wine’s varietal character; old-vine carignane contributes bright fruit and acidity; and petite sirah adds spice, depth of color, and firm tannins.
Rainfall: 61.5 inches (above normal)
Weather: A wet winter gave us much needed rain. Cool weather in the spring affected set across all varieties. Several heat spikes in late June, July and August saw temperatures over 105 degrees. Harvest started before the Labor Day heat wave hit; we quickly finished harvesting by late September.
Harvest Dates: 29 August – 30 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.4˚
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed; pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (5% new, 37% one year old, 53% three years old, and 5% four years old)
Aging: Eleven 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 0.33 grams/ liter tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 148ppm 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.
Wine Spectator (April 2019): 91 Points “Lively and well-built, with expressive cherry, roasted dill and white pepper flavors that glide toward refined tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Grenache.” – Tim Fish