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Ridge

2005 Mazzoni Home Ranch
bottled January 2007, 53 barrels produced
65% zinfandel, 30% carignane, 5% petite sirah

Persistent cold fronts swept off the Pacific this year, delaying the start of the growing season by several weeks. Summer heat was unusually intense through June and July, subsiding in August, and warming again in mid-September. Because of the spread between early- and late-ripening varietals, timing the harvest of old-vine field blends is difficult. We sampled repeatedly, harvesting the first blocks on September 10, the last nineteen days later. Blocks with a high percentage of carignane were fermented with a floating cap of skins and regular pump-overs; fruit from the one pure zinfandel parcel was given a submerged-cap fermentation. Natural yeasts brought fermentations to dryness in six days. Assembling the wine in blind tasting, we determined that the opulent carignane should dominate the blend. Zinfandel adds rich fruit; petite sirah provides depth, spice, and structure. This level of concentration and at moderate sugars—is attainable only from century-old vines such as these. A higher percentage of new and one-year-old barrels was used in aging, further complementing the claret-like character of the wine. Enjoyable now, it will develop fully over the next five to seven years. EB/PD (12/06)

Last edited on 10/28/2008 by fingers

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