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Ridge Three Valleys Red 2008

Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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0% ABV
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4.0 2 Ratings
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4.0 2 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 88
Connoisseurs' Guide
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.
RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
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Ridge
Ridge, Sonoma County, California
2008 Three Valleys Red
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 nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both 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 and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. 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 create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. 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.

SOU278410_2008 Item# 102590

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