2002 Lytton Estate Syrah Grenache

2002 Lytton Estate Syrah Grenache

Wine Information

50% Grenache, 50% Syrah




Lytton Springs


Dry Creek Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Vintage Notes

Last year’s large grenache crop was balanced this year by yields so modest as to preclude a separate Lytton Estate bottling. After tasting the wine with different syrah lots, we decided on this fifty-fifty combination. To moderate tannin extraction, the fully-ripe fruit was destemmed, but only partially crushed. The wines fermented on naturally-occurring yeasts, and completed a natural secondary—for the most part in barrel. Extended barrel time (twenty-six months) and an increased percentage of new oak have lent further definition to this full-bodied Rhône blend; it will soften and develop with five to seven years of bottle age.


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 percent ages 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 young vines planted in 1997 on Lytton West. We have since planted several of the finest syrah clones and field selections, including, most recently, a 10.5-acre block of syrah (together with a small amount of viognier).

Growing Season

Rainfall: Average, approximately 45 inches
Bloom: May (normal) with rain that affected set.
Weather: Cool spring, warm summer, and early fall.


Harvest Dates: 7 September – 27 September
Grapes: Average brix 26.9°, average pH at crush 3.71.
Fermentation: Whole berries. No inoculation. Natural primary and secondary. Twice-daily pump-overs during the first three days, one or one-half per day thereafter. Pressed at nine days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak (30% new, 20% one and two year old, 50% three and five years old)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90.4

No. of Tasting Notes: 43

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