78% Grenache, 17% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
Lytton Estate is home to four small parcels of grenache. The hundred-year-old vines at Lytton East are interplanted with zinfandel and petite sirah, as are the forty-year-old vines at Lytton West. The other two parcels—both younger, and on Lytton West—are entirely grenache. In 1999, all were harvested as September ended and October began. Together, they make up this vineyard blend. The ripe fruit, destemmed and fully crushed, was fermented on its naturally-occurring yeast. After eight days it was pressed, completed a natural secondary fermentation, and was racked to age in air-dried american oak barrels. Twenty percent of these were new, the rest two years old. The wine is full-bodied, with rich berry fruit; chalky tannins are firm, but well-integrated. Approachable now, this lovely grenache will be at its best 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: 88.8
No. of Tasting Notes: 11
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