91% Syrah, 9% Viognier
Dry Creek Valley
Color: Opaque ruby Nose: Boysenberry fruit. Perfumed violet, cardamom, ginger root, wet clay, white pepper. Palate: Rich, dark brambly fruit. Full-bodied and vibrant, coated tannins, lively acidity. Black fruit and characteristic regional gravel/mineral/earth. A long, complex finish.
Ridge has worked with grape varietals from the south of France for many years—among the first were grenache, carignane, and mourvèdre (mataro). In 1995 we acquired the western half of Captain Litton’s nineteenth-century holdings, inheriting a few blocks of syrah and some viognier. We have made small quantities of syrah—available only through the winery—since 1996. Having gradually added to the original plantings, in this vintage we are able to offer a limited national release. A whole-berry, floating cap fermentation permitted gentle, rapid extraction; three of the nine small lots included viognier in co-fermentation with the syrah. Aged for eighteen months in air-dried american oak barrels, this fine syrah is appealing as a young wine, yet has the structure to develop further over the next ten or more years. PD (3/05)
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. Because matching a grape varietal to the climate and soil of a particular site has permanent implications—and is a costly decision to revise—we have planted several of the finest clones and field selections in each parcel.
Rainfall: Sixty inches (slightly above normal)
Weather: Rain at bloom reduced crop. Early September heat hastened harvest.
Harvest Dates: 16 – 24 September
Grapes: Average brix 27.2°
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (7% new, 25% two years old, 68% three to six years old).
Aging: Eighteen months in barrel
Average Rating: 91.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 60
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