92% Syrah, 8% Viognier
Dry Creek Valley
In 1996, the year following our purchase of the western half of the Lytton Estate Vineyard, Ridge made its first syrah. Dry Creek Valley’s moderate climate proved well-suited to the varietal, so in the late 1990s we added three small parcels to the original two. Spring storms in 2006 disrupted fruit set, cutting yields by thirty percent. Intense July heat hastened veraison and ripening; we picked over a three-week period in late September. Viognier and syrah co-fermented on their natural yeasts in seven small tanks; we pressed early to avoid excessive tannins. Natural malolactic was quick to finish, and the lots were racked to air-dried american oak barrels (a quarter new and one year old, three-quarters four and five years old). The wine was assembled the following spring; it spent twenty-four months in barrel. Full-bodied and solidly structured, this fine syrah will develop further with ten to twelve years in bottle. EB (9/08)
Ridge has just over three acres of mature Syrah and three and a half acres of younger vines at Lytton Springs West. Since 1996, we have produced limited amounts for the Advance Tasting Program. In 2006, a Syrah base was assembled from the most intense and distinct Syrah lots. Because matching a grape varietal to the climate and soil of a particular site is a costly decision to revise, we have planted several of the finest clones and field selections in both of the young vine parcels.
Rainfall: Above average, at 55 inches
Weather: Wet spring and warm, dry summer, with rain at end of harvest.
Harvest Dates: 25 September – 9 October
Grapes: Average brix 26.1˚
Fermentation: Whole-berry, destemmed, not crushed, fermented on indigenous yeast; pressed after six days; natural malolactic.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (15% new, 85% two to seven years old)
Aging: Twenty-four months in barrel
All estate grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria. 0.33 grams/liter tartaric acid; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush; 165 ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Average Rating: 92.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 81
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