2006 Ridge Lytton Estate Grenache

2006 Ridge Lytton Estate Grenache

Varietal Information
80% grenache
10% petite sirah
10% zinfandel
49 barrels produced

History

Ridge became involved with grenache quite by accident when, in 1972, we first harvested the vines on the eastern hills of Lytton Springs. Though we didn't know it then, one of the hills—planted in 1902—had a high percentage of grenache, interplanted with small amounts of zinfandel and petite sirah. We purchased the eastern vineyards in 1991, and identified the varietal percentages in each parcel; in 1992, those old mixed vines produced our first Grenache/Zinfandel. Ridge bought Lytton Springs' western vineyards in 1995, acquiring a mixed grenache block planted in 1963, and a pure grenache block planted in 1991. With this amount—and quality—to select from, in most years we can now make a wine dominated by the varietal.


Vintage

Harvest Dates: 25 - 28 September
Grapes: Average Brix: 25.2°
Fermentation:No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak (33% new and one year old, 19% two years old, and 48% four to five years old)
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel


Growing Season

Rainfall: Above average at 55 inches
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: A wet spring and warm, dry summer with rain at the end of harvest.

Tasting Notes and Reviews


2001 SYRAH-GRENACHE LYTTON ESTATE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2004/10/1


Ridge Vineyards - Rhones


Probably Chicago’s most distinguished wine alumnus, Paul Draper, who is revered for the extraordinary Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandels he produces, can also turn a trick or two with Rhone varietals. These are all fine as well as attractively priced offerings... RIDGE 2001 SYRAH-GRENACHE LYTTON ESTATE --- SCORE: 90 Also an outstanding effort, the 2001 Syrah-Grenache Lytton Estate (equal amounts of each varietal) offers up a deep ruby/purple color in addition to a sexy, complex bouquet of scorched earth, raspberries, black cherries, cassis, and notions of bay leaves as well as vanilla. Great fruit on the attack follows through on the mid-palate, creating the impression of opulence and generosity in a seamlessly constructed, lush format. It is an endearing, complex, food friendly red to drink over the next 5-6 years.

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2001 GRENACHE LYTTON ESTATE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2004/10/1


Ridge Vineyards - Rhones


Probably Chicago’s most distinguished wine alumnus, Paul Draper, who is revered for the extraordinary Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandels he produces, can also turn a trick or two with Rhone varietals. These are all fine as well as attractively priced offerings... RIDGE 2001 GRENACHE LYTTON ESTATE --- SCORE: 87 The 2001 Grenache Lytton Estate reveals a similar weight. Made from 78% Grenache, 12% Petite Syrah, and 10% Zinfandel, it offers kirsch liqueur and licorice characteristics along with a sweet, round, ripe style. Once past the seductive aromas and attractive attack, it is medium-bodied and a bit superficial. Nevertheless, it is a well-made Grenache to drink over the next 2-4 years.

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2000 LYTTON ESTATE GRENACHE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2003/8/23


Time to Rock and Rhone? Focus on California's Rhone Rangers


RIDGE VINEYARDS 2000 GRENACHE LYTTON ESTATE ATP 86 I expected more from Ridge's highly talented winemaker, Paul Draper. Neither of these offerings [including 2000 Syrah Lytton Estate] are terribly exciting, but they are competently made. Kirsch liqueur, pepper, cloves, and Allspice aromas jump from the glass of the low key 2000 Grenache Lytton Estate ATP. The impressive aromatics are followed by attenuated, thin flavors. The aromatics of this 75% Grenache, 16% Zinfandel, and 9% Petite Sirah blend merit a score in the high eighties, but the flavors rate about ten points less.

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1999 LYTTON ESTATE GRENACHE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2002/2/28


California's Rhone Rangers


RIDGE VINEYARDS 1999 SYRAH LYTTON ESTATE ATP DRY CREEK ($30.00) RED 90 RIDGE VINEYARDS 1999 GRENACHE LYTTON ESTATE ATP DRY CREEK ($22.00) RED 89 RIDGE VINEYARDS 1999 CARIGNAN BUCHIGNANI ATP SONOMA ($22.00) RED 86 Not surprisingly, these are all high quality offerings. The 713-case cuvÈe of 1999 Syrah Lytton Estate is a blend of 92% Syrah, 7% Grenache, and 1% Viognier that tips the scales at a lofty, although well-hidden 14.8% alcohol. Pure, rich, deep, concentrated, and seamless, this medium to full-bodied, classic Syrah possesses floral and cassis aromas mixed with a hint of licorice. It is already delicious, yet should age for 7-8 years. Nearly as impressive is the 1999 Grenache Lytton Estate, a blend of 78% Grenache, 17% Zinfandel, and 3% Petite Sirah with 14.7% alcohol. Deep ruby-colored, with a sweet, kirsch, and raspberry-scented nose, only rustic tannin holds it back from receiving an outstanding rating. It has plenty of fruit, spice, and charm, but the tannin is slightly out of balance. Drink it over the next 3-4 years for its gutsy, peasant style. Production was 761 cases. Made from 50-70-year old Carignan vines, the 1999 Carignan Buchignani exhibits a dark ruby color, a rustic, leathery nose, rough and tumble tannin, and a gritty finish. Although not for everybody, it is what this varietal is all about. Drink it over the next 3-4 years as Carignan rarely improves in the bottle. All of these are ATP (meaning Advance Tasting Program) offerings, and are only available to clients on Ridge's mailing list.

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1999 LYTTON ESTATE GRENACHE


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2002/4/1


American New Releases


A number of noteworthy new wines came through our tasting room for April. Two arrived from the Ridge Lytton Estate vineyard in the rolling Dry Creek Valley hills. Ridge's proprietary red from Lytton Springs has become synonymous with great zinfandel, even if the label no longer says zin, nor is the vineyard any sort of monoculture. As part of a continuing effort to build Lytton Springs into the center of Ridge's North Coast activities, John Olney has been overseeing a new winery on site, and new plantings from selections propagated from the old plant material. He's producing a range of wines for Ridge's Advance Tasting Program (available by mailing list only), two of which are featured here in this new release section: an effusive, raspberry-scented Lytton Estate Grenache, and a darker, richer Lytton Estate Syrah, both from '99. Devotees of Lytton Springs will want these in their cellar - the grenache ready to enjoy this spring, especially with lamb at Easter dinner. 1999 Dry Creek Valley Lytton Estate Grenache --- 90. Ridge $22 Dark in color and rather intense in flavor for a grenache, this mingles the deep grip of fruit from a parcel of 100-year-old head-pruned vines in Ridge's Lytton Springs vineyards with lighter, brighter fruit from their 10- and 30-year-old plantings. The result tastes of sweet raspberries in syrup: perfumed, bright and bold. It's almost silly in its candied ripeness, sanctimonious in its earthy tannin and not a little buxom. Match all its fruit with grilled ribs in a plummy barbecue sauce. (Mailing list only).

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1998 LYTTON ESTATE GRENACHE


James Laube, www.winespectator.com - 2000/11/24


James Laube's Hot Wines


www.WineSpectator.com - James Laube reviews the 1998 Grenache Lytton Estate

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1998 LYTTON ESTATE GRENACHE


Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar - 2000/5/1


Focus on California


1998 Grenache Lytton Estate Dry Creek Valley (from 100-year-old vines; includes 20% zinfandel and 5% petite sirah): Modestly saturated red-ruby. Super ripe aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, eucalyptus and dried herbs. Sappy, liqueur-like flavor of black cherry; offers almost candied sweetness but there’s no shortage of verve. Generous, powerful and long, with considerable but even tannins and a late flavor of cherry liqueur.

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1996 LYTTON ESTATE GRENACHE


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 1998/12/23


Ridge Vineyards


Also intriguing is the 1996 Grenache Lytton Estate (made from 92% Grenache, 6% Zinfandel, and 2% Petite Sirah). This wine’s deep, ruby color is followed by a gorgeous nose of jammy strawberries: kirsch liqueur, and dried cherries. Fruity, with good glycerin, medium to full body, and loads of fruit, this textbook, very yummy Grenache should be consumed over the next 4-5 years. Both wines are available only at the winery.

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