72% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 4% Mataro
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
92 Points – Wine Spectator
Ruby-garnet red color. Pungent cherry and raspberry fruits, sweet oak, and complex minerals. Intense cherry fruit entry, ripe plum, lively acid, and exotic spices and barrel toast. Tannins are supple and coated by appealing fruit. Wonderfully long finish. EB (1/20)
Winter began dry, with no rainfall through January and February. Fortunately, heavy rains arrived in March, but cold spring weather and a mild summer delayed the start of harvest until mid-September. Each lot fermented for nine days on the skins to achieve full extraction. Assemblage was done the following spring. This fruit-forward, elegant wine is appealing now and will drink well 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 bacteria 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; petite sirah spice, depth of color, and firm tannins.
Rainfall: 22 inches (below normal)
Weather: Winter rains were light this year, totaling 22”. Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 8 September – 5 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9˚
TA: 6.50 g/L
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed; pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (12% new, 15% one year-old, 23% two years-old, 25% four years-old, and 25% five 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 0.2 grams/ liter tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 140ppm 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.
JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “The 2018 Three Valleys is another terrific 2018 from this team. A blend of 70% Zinfandel, 14% Petite Sirah, 12% Carignan, and the rest Mataro, it plays in the medium-bodied, elegant end of the spectrum and has wonderful purity in its blue fruits, peppery herbs, violets, and sandalwood aromas and flavors. Nicely textured, elegant, and seamless on the palate, with good acidity, this ethereal, balanced beauty can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck (May 2020)
Blue Lifestyle: 93 Points “Bright black raspberry nose, crisp and tangy, exuberant and juicy; mostly Zin with three others in support, smooth and long.” – Anthony Dias Blue (April 2020)
Wine Spectator: 92 Points & Value Pick of the Week “Svelte and briary, with vibrant raspberry and black cherry flavors, accented by licorice, tarragon and white pepper notes. Finishes with snappy tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2028.” – Tim Fish (March 2020)
Connoisseurs’ Guide: 90 Points “. Among the more affable and accessible of the present Ridge bunch with lots of direct and juicy berry-like fruit at the fore from beginning to end. Its fine, very well-integrated tannins lend just the right bit of tactile grip without ever interfering with its persistent fruit, and, while it is certainly capable of aging for four or five years and likely to show a little more complexity as it does, there is nothing at all about this lively and altogether delectable Zinfandel that dissuades immediate drinking.” (July 2020)
Average Rating: 89.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 177
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