2002 Ridge Vineyards "Jimsomare" Late Picked Santa Cruz Mountains Zinfandel

SKU #1034716

This wine comes from the 500-acre Jimsomare Ranch, located between 1,300 feet and 2,000 feet on Monte Bello Ridge in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains. Ridge took over farming the land, which has been cultivated since the late-1800s, in 1996. Part of Ridge's Advance Tasting Program (ATP), über-small production wines averaging 5 to 55 barrels, ATP wines are shipped directly to ATP members and are not generally available to the public. Noted for its firm acidity and rich fruit and considered one of the finest Jimsomare produced in recent years. According to Ridge winemaker Paul Draper: "Late spring rains kept this old, unirrigated five-acre vineyard from water stress during a typical California summer, and the full set was augmented by vigorous young vines interplanted where old ones had been lost. Despite the unusually good yield, the fruit ripened to perfection by mid-October. A short natural-yeast fermentation was sufficient to extract deep color and rich tannins; the firm acid typical of this cool region was moderated by a natural malolactic. The wine aged in air-dried american oak barrels, of which fifteen percent were new, and eighty-five percent five years old. Incredibly rich fruit is beautifully balanced by the still-firm acidity. This is among the finest Jimsomare zinfandels of recent years." (12/2003)

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Varietal:

Zinfandel

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Santa Cruz Mountains

- Vineyards dot the valleys and ridges of this coastal AVA just south of San Francisco. Microclimates make it difficult to generalize, and vineyards are frequently separated by acres of forests and meadowlands (not to mention entire towns!), but this is nonetheless known as a cooler-climate zone ideal for pinot noir. Ridge is doubtless the most famous local producer, with its cabernet blend, Monte Bello, named after a Santa Cruz mountain peak. High-quality, low-production chardonnay and some Rhône varietals prosper as well.