84% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah, 4% Carignane
Three years of drought ended with 2010’s drenching rains. Late-May storms disrupted bloom, cutting yields, and persistent fog kept temperatures below average through much of summer. Leaf-pulling helped to combat mildew, but the now-exposed fruit was damaged by a severe heat wave during veraison. Picking of the oldest vines began mid-September, and finished with a younger parcel on October 6. During natural-yeast fermentation, each circulation of juice over the cap of skins extracted extraordinary color. Pressed on day six, the lots underwent a slow natural malolactic before assemblage. Once blended, the wine was racked to air-dried american oak barrels for aging. Complemented by the vineyard’s petite sirah and carignane, this rich zinfandel has wonderful depth. It is approachable now, and will be most enjoyable over the next five to seven years.
Originally a part of the Rancho Sotoyomi land grant, these one hundred acres were purchased in the mid-1800s by Archibald Carmichael. Ridge began farming the western half of the ranch in 2000. The soils differ considerably between the upper and lower blocks. The Carmichael comes from just east of the abandoned right of way of the old Northwestern Pacific railroad. This is our seventh release from the ranch.
Rainfall: 40 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Cool late spring followed by a cool summer; two very hot days in August (24 & 25) severely reduced yields.
Harvest Date: 14 September – 6 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5˚
Fermentation: An eight day natural fermentation was carried out in small fermentors; pressed early; the natural secondary fermentation finished in mid-October.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak: (33% one year old, 67% two to three years old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
All Estate grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 102ppm 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: 90.4
No. of Tasting Notes: 43
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