73% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 3% Mataro, 1% Alicante Bouschet
93 Points – Wine Spectator
92 Points – Zinfandel Chronicles
91 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Deep garnet-red color. Aromas of ripe raspberry and cherry fruits, fresh mint, exotic spices, with clay-earth minerals. Beautiful briary fruits on entry, medium-full body, integrated tannins, and great persistence to the finish. EB (12/20)
Rain in late March coupled with warm spring weather created ideal growing conditions. The vines responded with a full crop and mild summer weather allowed for slow, even ripening. Aging in American oak complements the plentiful fruit in the wine while petite sirah provides added richness and structure. Enjoyable upon release, this zinfandel-based wine 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 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: 57.5 inches (above normal)
Weather: Total rainfall for the season was over 57.5” at Geyserville – almost double our usual amounts. The vines responded with bountiful yields of great quality.
Harvest Dates: 4 September – 19 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.3˚
TA: 6.35 g/L
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed; pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (15% new, 20% one year-old, 15% three years-old, 25% four years-old, and 25% five 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 0.25 grams/liter tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 121ppm 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: 93 Points “Deeply structured, yet nimble on its feet. Blackberry, fresh fennel and brown baking spiceAn engaging blend, well-knit and distinctive for its savory raspberry and cherry flavors that draw in bay leaf, Asian spice and smoked pepper notes. Tannins are ripe and briary. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2029.” -T.F. (April 2021)
Zinfandel Chronicles: 92 Points “Crimson in color. Pretty nose of red and black fruit, plums and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Well balanced with lush and jammy fruits. Black cherry, black raspberry, earth and pepper on the palate. Nice length on the finish. Value and availability make this wine very appealing. Best over the next 3-5 years.” -Tom Lee (December 2020)
Connoisseurs’ Guide: 91 Points “Here is yet another Ridge Zinfandel that is both keen in focus on varietal fruit and more mannerly and polished than it is brash and powerful. To be sure, it is fairly full in weight and has a good bit of depth to its supple, balanced, straightforward personality; and it promises to be good today and good in the next several years if you decide to lay some away.” (July 2021)
Wine Enthusiast: 90 Points “Although quite firm with tannins, this full-bodied blend of traditional California grape varieties fills out its structure nicely with ripe blackberry and black-pepper flavors. Based on Zinfandel, it’s a robust wine that will make a great pairing with grilled meats and the like. Best from 2023.” -Jim Gordon (March 2021)
Average Rating: 89.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 93
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