2007 Ridge Vineyards "Carmichael" Sonoma County Zinfandel

SKU #1081796

The Carmichael Vineyard was initially part of the Rancho Sotoyomi land grant, then purchased in the mid-1800s by Archibald Carmichael. Ridge starting farming the western half of this 100-acre property in 2000, and the 2007 is the fourth release. Winemaker's note: "A mild winter, followed by a warm spring,brought an early start to the growing season. Unseasonably cool summer weather slowed progress, but the grapes ripened by late August - two weeks ahead of schedule. The vineyard parcels were crushed to three separate tanks for natural-yeast fermentation. We pressed at the sixth day, on average, and assembled the wine before it completed an uninoculated secondary, which finished the following February. Aged for twelve months in air-dried American oak barrels (a quarter new, a quarter one year old, the rest five years old), the wine clarified naturally through settling and quarterly racking. This full-flavored, elegant Zinfandel was picked at moderate ripeness; approachable now, it will be at its best over the next four to five years."

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Price: $49.99
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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.


- 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.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.