LCBO Vintages Release
Ridge is a Sonoma County pioneer, early advocate of sustainable viticulture, and long-time practitioner of minimal-intervention winemaking. Ridge also happens to produce some of the most consistently superb Zinfandel you’ll encounter. Consider “Three Valleys”, the winery’s entry-level Zinfandel, a good introduction. Unlike Ridge’s single-vineyard wines, which reflect the distinct character of each site, Three Valleys demonstrates skillful blending at the highest level. While Zinfandel sets the wine’s varietal character; Petite Sirah gives spice, depth of colour, and firm tannins; old-vine Carignane contributes bright fruit and acidity; and Grenache brings briar fruit and lively tannins.
Fruit was sourced from a number of Ridge-approved Sonoma vineyards. The winery takes great care in selecting the fruit, which was hand-harvested, crushed, then eased through primary and malolactic fermentation by native yeast at Monte Bello and Lytton Springs. Minimal sulphur was introduced. The wine spent 15 months in American oak (only 6% new) prior to blending.
Ridge’s Zinfandel is never over-blown or sappy, and 2014 is no exception. Full-on garnet in the glass, the nose plays on fresh raspberry and blueberry, clay, and oak spice. The palate is rich and brambly, with wild fruit, chewy tannins, and creamy-sweet oak. Appealing now, you could lay it down until 2020.
“The 2014 Three Valleys, Ridge’s entry-level Zinfandel-based red, is a delicious, value-priced red to drink young, while the fruit remains vibrant. Sweet floral notes and a burst of spiciness round out the 2014 edition. This is an absolutely stellar set of wines from Ridge […] Zinfandel fans will find much to like in the 2014s, a vintage that produced super-elegant wines.”
89 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2016