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Beyond Napa’s glitzy facade, there are still
some hands-on, tractor-driving farmer-vintners,
like Farm Life’s Patrick Ridder.
What You Need To Know
Poet and naturalist Patrick Ridder
grows a paradisaical bounty of fruits, wildflowers, nuts and
vegetables on his organic ranch south of the Napa Valley town of
Yountville. Among the bounty are 40 acres of grapevines, planted
mostly to less-fashionable varieties such as Petit Verdot,
Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Syrah and Syrah. Ridder sells some of his
meticulously farmed grapes to his winery neighbors and keeps
back the rest to make a few micro-lots of his own wine. This ninebarrel
blend combines meaty Syrah and Petite Sirah to create the
highly delicious antithesis of the stereotypical Napa Valley red.
While boldly fruity, this rare bottling is also inexpensive,
moderately oaked and, in its lack of grandiose back label copy,
Fragrant black currant,
bay laurel and white
Polished and bold, with blackfruit
and clove flavors.
Cellar temperature—the bottle should be
cool to the touch.
Boldly flavored red meat, pork
and poultry dishes.