75% Grenache, 16% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
Yields were low in this vintage, contributing to the fruit’s quality and intensity. Grenache tends to be tannic, yet can lack the body to fill out its firm structure, so we destemmed the grapes, but left the majority as whole berries. This eliminates stem tannins while moderating the extraction of tannin from the seeds. Of the four grenache blocks at Lytton Estate, we chose the hundred-year-old and forty-year-old mixed vines as the wine’s base, adding one of the two young-vine parcels for its fresh fruit. New and one-year-old air dried american oak made up a third of the barrels used in aging, contributing inviting nuances of smoke and cedar. Full and round, with ripe blackberry fruit, this well-structured grenache is enjoyable now, and 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: 85
No. of Tasting Notes: 6
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