80% Grenache, 18% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
This is the fifth year in which we have produced a grenache from our estate vineyards at Lytton Springs. Of the first three vintages, two were roughly half grenache and half zinfandel; one contained considerable petite sirah. In 1996, inclusion of the younger grenache brought that varietal to the fore. In 1997, the younger vines provided almost half the wine, the hundred-year-old grenache at Lytton East a third, and the thirty year-old mixed blacks (grenache, zinfandel, petite sirah) at Lytton West the rest. Intense, jammy fruit dominates this full-bodied wine. It was aged in american oak barrels, of which twenty-six percent were new. Delightful now as a young, “bistro” wine, this lovely grenache will be at its most enticing over the next five years.
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 grenache-only 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.
Average Rating: 88.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 9
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