2011 Ridge Vineyards "Three Valleys" Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend

SKU #1130597 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editor's Choice* Ridge hews to a leaner, lower alcohol style than most California wineries these days, resulting in wines that aren’t blockbusters, but are complex and food-friendly. This bottling defines such a style. It’s dry and lithe in the mouth yet gently tannic, with suggestions of berry jam, bacon, grilled mushrooms and hints of balsamic and soy sauce.  (8/2013)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Its wide-ranging blend of grapes and well-mannered ripeness takes this wine off in a direction that is less bold than most Zinfandels these days, but, in some nice ways, it is better for it. With mid-volume, red berries and light spice in its aromas and a medium-full-body, it is a wine that is reasonably approachable and quite comfortable being paired with a variety of lighter Zinfandel foods like red-sauced pastas or an unadorned rib pork chop straight off the backyard barbecue.  (5/2013)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Opaque ruby. Black raspberry, anise, vanilla and musky herbs on the perfumed nose and in the mouth. Juicy and open-knit, offering lively red and dark berry flavors and a deeper note of black cardamom. Supple tannins give shape to a sweet, nicely persistent finish. I'd drink this approachable wine in its youth, for the fruit.  (6/2013)

K&L Notes

Ridge blended just 65% Zinfandel into their "Three Valleys," a full 10% less than varietal requirements to be labeled "Zinfandel." But the balance is a tasty roster of all the "mixed black" grapes that growers have traditionally mixed into Zinfandel vineyards for well over a century, to deepen its low notes, and harmonize with its spicy top notes: 20% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignane, 3% Mataro, 2% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Grenache.

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Price: $19.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.4