99% Syrah, 1% Viognier
Dry Creek Valley
Limited late winter rainfall and an early spring caused water stress in the vines by late August; we harvested between the sixth and twenty-eighth of September, as warm days ripened each of the five blocks. The grapes were destemmed but not crushed, and fermented, without inoculation, on their naturally occurring yeasts and malolactic bacteria. Three of the five lots were chosen for this very limited bottling. Three quarters of the wine is from the traditional Californian selection known as “syrah noir.” To date, we prefer this to the newly-imported french clones that make up the rest. The first press was included, and we fined with fresh egg whites to soften the firm tannins. Though approachable now, this rich, intense wine deserves a few years of bottle age; it will develop fully over the next ten to twelve. PD (4/03)
Ridge has just over three acres of mature syrah and six acres of younger vines at Lytton Springs West; since 1996, we have produced limited amounts for the Advance Tasting Program. In 2001, we added nine more acres of syrah, and one-and-a-half of viognier. Based on suitability to the climate and soil of this particular site, we have planted the finest clones and field selections available.
Rainfall: Less than normal: most in mid-winter, little in spring, water stress by August.
Bloom: May (normal)
Weather: Warm spring, summer, and early fall.
35 barrels produced.
Harvest Date: 6 September – 28 September
Grapes: Average brix 26.1°, average pH at crush 3.73.
Fermentation: Whole-berry fermented on indigenous yeast; pressed after six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (16% new, 20% one and two years, 64% four and five years old)
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
Average Rating: 91.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 40
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