2007 Ridge Sonoma County -Three Valleys

By Darin Pemberton

Its spring! Trees are budding, bulbs have pushed through the soil. Kids are playing in the streets and yard of our neighborhood. The wind makes sitting on the porch just a little chilly – not quite California weather – but pretty darn good for South East Michigan, in early April.

Thanks to Ridge, I can taste a little of California, without waiting in line for security screening. 76% zinfandel, 8% petite sirah, 7% syrah, 6% grenache, 3% carignane 14.3% alcohol by volume.

Technical Data:

  • Harvest Dates: 26 August – 23 October
  • Grapes: Average brix 25.4°
  • Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Grapes fully crushed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks; fermenting juice circulated over the cap twice daily for extraction of color, tannin, and flavor. Full, natural malolactic to soften acidity. Pressed at seven days on average.
  • Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (26% new and one year old, 17% two years old, 57% three to five years old).
  • Time in Barrel: Nine months
  • MSRP: $22

Nose: Wow – just opened, I get the ‘scents’ of Cherries, musk, Earthiness, a pinch of dark chocolate, loads of pepper, mossy-goodness, all-spice, and a jammy-burned/charred cherry-flavored marshmellow-something-or-nother all wrapped in aged old leather.

Taste: Fruit forward, followed by an avalanche of pepper and spice. My tastebuds are greeted with a sense of purpose – maturity. Unfortunately, that falls flatter and flatter as the juice moves across my tongue, until I’m left with a slightly bitter aftertaste. After my first try, I let the bottle sit for 30 minutes…so.

30 minutes later my patience is rewarded. Sipping from my Riedel brings a more-mature flavor. It’s as if the fruit-flavors have taken a viagra, as the strong fruit lasts for the duration of the sip-swallow process – complimented by the pepper and spice. VERY aggressive now – I get a strong flavor of that burned-cherries and marshmallow than just after opening. This wine definitely needs to sit – I’d suggest a solid hour out in a not-too-warm room before serving. While I enjoyed the wine more after sitting, the nose still is the strongest portion of my experience – I found myself NOT drinking this wine – but holding the glass up to my nose for minutes, with eyes-closed just imagining the flavors. The reality is, the nose promises what the taste cannot deliver.

WEP Rating: 70%