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.
Harvest Date: 25 September - 10 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.7˚
Fermentation: 100% whole berries. No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary. Juice was circulated through the cap of skins daily. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak (30% one and two years old, 70% three and fours years old)
Aging: Twenty-eight months in barrel
Rainfall: 34 inches (below average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Dry winter saved by spring rains and follwed by a warm, dry summer.
All estate grown grapes, hand harvested, destemmed, and
left uncrushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed
by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria.
During fermentation, 0.6 grams/liter tartaric acid was
added. Minimum effective sulfur additions (35 ppm at
crush, 148 ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at
bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal
intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Winemaker Tasting Notes
Rich fruit aromas of currant, raspberry, citrus, and peach, together
with white pepper, dried-herbs, and floral notes. Spicy on the palate with
red fruits, fennel, savory herbs, and clay earth. Medium-bodied with coated
tannins and moderate acidity.