Winemaker's Notes: 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.
Vintage Notes: 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.
History: 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.
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.
73% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 3% Mataro, 1% Alicante Bouschet