2009 Ridge Syrah/Grenache

2010 Ridge Syrah/Grenache

Varietal Information
50% Syrah
50% Grenache
14.7% Alcohol
44 Barrels Produced

History

Ridge became involved with grenache quite by accident when, in 1972, we first harvested the nineteenth-century 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, harvested separately, produced our first Grenache/Zinfandel. Ridge bought Lytton Springs' western vineyards in 1995, acquiring a mixed grenache block planted in 1963, and a straight grenache block planted in 1991. We currently have 3.2 acres of mature syrah, and 6 acres of syrah (together with a small amount of viognier) planted in 2001.


Winemaker Notes

Following a three-year drought, the vines benefited from a long, wet winter. Late spring rain disrupted bloom, reducing yields, and cool, foggy days through summer slowed ripening. Harvested in the first two weeks of October, the fruit was destemmed, and fermented as whole berries on its natural yeasts. Uninoculated malolactic fermentation finished quickly, allowing an early assemblage. In blind tastings, four grenache parcels (two pure, two field blends) were combined with a young syrah. Together, these varietals have produced a classic wine with great dimension of fruit and structure. Extended barrel aging in air-dried american oak has softened tannins. This excellent vintage will be at its best over the next six to eight years.

Tasting Notes and Reviews


2005 SYRAH LYTTON WEST


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2009/3/1


Syrah


RIDGE Lytton West Vineyard 2005 Dry Creek Valley SCORE: 95 *** 6% Viognier. There is a sense of refinement and pure precision about this bottling that not only moves it to the head of the class but sets it in a class all its own. Very deep and impeccably structured, it eschews runaway ripeness in favor of layered richness and real nuance, and it begs for comparison with the fine wines of Cote Rotie rather than its more blustery California kin. It is as classy and sophisticated as local Syrah is likely to get, and it is bound to age famously by dint of balance and depth.

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2005 SYRAH LYTTON WEST


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2009/8/1


Syrah New Releases


2005 Ridge, "Lytton West," Dry Creek Valley - Medium-dark to dark ruby; attractive, very spicy, fragrant, sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit aroma with notes of cocoa and creamy oak; full body; forward, rich, plush plummy, sweet blackberry fruit flavors with distinct varietal character; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very appealing to taste now though some tasters thought the oak was too dominant. Very highly recommended. 14.5% alcohol; 2,700 cases; blended with 4% Viogner; released April 2008. (Group Score: 16.1, 2/3/0; My Score: 17 [91/100], second place)

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