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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Ridge Vineyards York Creek Petite Sirah 1999
Ridge Vineyards York Creek Petite Sirah 1999
(search item no. 52053)

PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $31.99

Winemaker's Notes:

York Creek Vineyard, situated high on Spring Mountain, overlooks St. Helena and the Napa Valley from the west. Ridge came here initially in 1971 for the old-vine petite sirah. The major planting of mature zinfandel at York Creek is the Race Track vineyard, at an elevation of 1800. The name refers to a trotting track that describes a graceful oval through the vines. Original cuttings for Race Track were taken from the old Picchetti vineyard on Monte Bello Ridge, home to one of our favorite nineteenth-century clones. Much as in 1998, the '99 growing season began very late, and rain at bloom limited crop levels. A moderate summer and long, lovely fall brought fully ripe grapes by mid-October a good two weeks earlier than in 1998. Given the grapes high level of ripeness, color and tannins were easily extracted over an eight-day active fermentation, which left a bit of residual sugar. Half the grapes were fermented using the submerged cap methodgrape skins held by a grid below the surface of the juice. This results in a wine of greater structure, which, in '99, balances a slight sweetness in the final wine. As usual, only naturally-occurring yeasts were used to ferment the grapes. After malolactic, the wine was aged in air-dried american oak barrels. It's structure and concentrated fruit will integrate further with a year in bottle. The wine should be at its most enjoyable over the next five years.
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About Ridge Vineyards:

Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.

Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.

The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.