Ridge Three Valleys Red 2006
Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
80% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 5% Grenache
"Three Valleys" is the proprietary name for the only Ridge wine blended from multiple vineyard sites. They select softer, more accessible lots from their single vineyards and, taking the role of winemaker literally, create a character they find most appealing.
Younger vines from Lytton Estate provided most of the fruit; older vines on five small Alexander Valley vineyards and one Russian River vineyard make up the rest. The grapes fermented on their own yeasts in small-capacity tanks. Pressed, on average, by the seventh day, they completed a natural malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked to american oak barrels, whose staves had been air (not kiln) dried for twenty-four months.
Ridge blind-tasted all the lots in spring, creating this elegant blend. Their sixth vintage of Three Valleys contains the highest percentage of Zinfandel to date. Sensuous structure and rich fruit give the wine immediate appeal; it will be most enjoyable over the next five years.
Wine & Spirits - "One of the friendliest Ridge zins we've tasted in a long time, this is exuberant and focused on fresh black cherry flavors. It has a cool, foresty feel to balance the tannins and their lasting spice. Give these tannins anything meaty, especially slow-smoked ribs."
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. View all Ridge Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review44 out of 5 stars
2 ratings, 2 with reviews58/6/2008Had this with a wonderful dinner near Woodstock, and was happy to find it here at Wine.com. Excellent meritage.Melski - Anchorage, AK511/7/2008My experience with this wine was pleasant from the moment the cork was pulled from the bottle to long after the last swallow was swallowed. Very well balanced but not so smooth that it lacks a distinct character.