A second year of below-average rainfall made for a challenging growing season. A small crop was set in March, and ripened in time for a September harvest. The dry conditions resulted in smaller-than-normal berry size, which accentuated flavor. Natural yeasts carried out primary fermentation, and eight days of skin contact extracted elegant structure. Uninoculated secondary fermentation was complete in record time, allowing early assemblage. We chose the most accessible lots from six vineyards for this wine. Once blended and racked to barrel, clarity was achieved by racking off the sediment every two months. Integrated oak and appealing ripe fruit make this Three Valleys enjoyable now: it will be at its best over the next five years.
"The 2008 Three Valleys is 74% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignan, 4% Mourvedre, 3% Syrah, and 3% Grenache. Perhaps I should hold this review back for my Zinfandel report, but it seems to have enough Rhone Ranger grapes in it to include. Moreover, I really like the wine. Dark ruby, with loads of berry fruit and spice, as well as a hint of pepper, the wine is medium-bodied, spicy, and earthy, with some background oak. It is an attractive wine to drink over the next 2-3 years.
The Wine Advocate
"74% Zinfandel; 11% Petite Sirah; 5% Carignane; 4% Mataro; 3% Grenache 3% Syrah. Hitting all the classic varietal field-blend bases, but still convincingly defined as Zinfandel, this temperate, well-balanced bottling pulls back from the brink of high-ripeness and aims for a structured, claret-like style. Its precise, berry-like fruit comes with no chocolaty extras but hints of briar and tea-leaf do show here and there. First and foremost, it is a wine that is made to accompany food."