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.