95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
92 Points – Zinfandel Chronicles
90 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide
Dry Creek Valley
Aromas of brambly, ripe, dark fruit, mint and subtle toasty oak. Blackberry and cassis on the palate with supple tannins and a note of cocoa on the finish. JO (6/20)
This is our second release from this three acre bench-land vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. As with most Sonoma zinfandel, in 2018 the vines set a full but balanced crop. Warm summer weather subsided in the last half of August. The cooling trend extended the ripening period, allowing flavors to fully develop. Ten months aging in American oak brings spice to the plentiful fruit. Enjoyable now, this classic Dry Creek zinfandel will evolve over the next six years.
In 1860, the C.L. Lambert family settled Lambert Rancho 5 miles northwest of Healdsburg Square. They built a large and beautiful Gothic Revival house on their new homestead. The arrival of the railroad in 1871 allowed them to flourish, especially due to the high demand from San Francisco. Then in 1919, Prohibition created chaos in the wine industry and instigated a widespread transition from large vineyards to mostly French prunes. Over the years, parts of the ranch were sold off, until the late 1990s when the Manoukian family purchased the Gothic Revival house and the surrounding 4-1/2 acres, which had sunken into total disrepair. By 2000, having labored for 2 years, they christened their new 3-acre zinfandel vineyard’s first harvest. Phil Manoukian diligently farms his zinfandel vines and is restoring the old house to its former glory.
Rainfall: 25 inches (below normal)
Weather: Winter rains were light this year, totaling 25 inches. Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 14 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9˚
TA: 6.41 g/L
Fermentation: Full crush fermentation, native yeast, 12 days of maceration on the skins.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (15% new, 20% one year-old, 20% two years-old, 25% three years-old, and 20% four years-old).
Aging: Ten months in barrel
Hand-harvested, sustainably grown grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush and 208 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.
Zinfandel Chronicles: 92 Points “Dark crimson in color. Gorgeous nose of black fruits, earth and pepper. Medium body with great acidity. Dark fruited, Claret style Zinfandel. Black cherry, black raspberry, plums and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Super Zinfandel from young vines in the heart of Dry Creek Valley. Best over the next 3-5 years.” -Tom Lee (September 2020)
Connoisseurs’ Guide: 90 Points “Ripeness-oriented dried black cherry notes that attend the otherwise brighter blackberry scents in the nose find an exacting parallel in full, slightly heavy flavors that are on the fruity side to begin but clearly slant towards dark soils and a touch of dried bark, especially in the finish where both heat and tannin make themselves known. There is no lack of depth here, and this version is going to find plenty of takers who appreciate the Ridge cleanliness and polish but also enjoy the full-bodied, rich direction it pursues.” (January 2021 Issue)
Average Rating: 92
No. of Tasting Notes: 4
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