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Ridge Three Valleys Red 2003

Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    Three Valleys is a Ridge proprietary name, referring to three of Sonoma County's finest appellations. Roughly half the grapes in this vintage come from four vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, forty percent from four vineyards in Alexander Valley, and the balance from two vineyards on a single site in the Russian River Valley. The wines fermented on their natural yeasts, were pressed at seven days on average, and completed a natural (uninoculated) malolactic fermentation seven weeks later. This is the one wine whose character we determine by blending from a number of sites. The grapes are handharvested, and the wine receives the same care and attention as our single-vineyard bottlings. The 2003 Three Valleys aged in air-dried american oak barrels, of which a quarter were new and one year old, the rest two to seven years old. Enjoyable now, this rich, well-structured wine will develop fully over the next four to five years.

    72% zinfandel, 12% carignane, 10% petite sirah, 4% grenache, 2% mataro (mourvèdre)

    Critical Acclaim

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    Ridge
    Ridge, Sonoma County, California
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    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.

    Sonoma County

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    Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

    Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

    Other Red Blends

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    With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    CADRITVR_2003 Item# 83886