91% Syrah, 9% Viognier
Dry Creek Valley
Deep garnet in color. Boysenberry, violets, fennel, clay minerals, oak spice, white pepper aromas. Ripe blueberries, full bodied, polished tannins, creamy texture on palate, charcuterie-gaminess, elegant, long, saturated dark-berry finish.
An unusually cool growing season delayed harvest by a full month; the small crop was picked in mid-October. Destemmed whole berries were pumped to tank, where viognier fermented with the syrah, moderating tannins, and enhancing aromas. Natural yeasts brought the juice to dryness for pressing on day seven; uninoculated malolactics finished by year’s end. Selection was made in blind tastings: grapes from the two oldest syrah plantings were chosen for their structure and intensity, and a small amount from a younger block was included for its lively fruit. Barrel-aged for nineteen months in seasoned american oak, this sensuous syrah can be enjoyed over the next seven to ten years. EB (3/12)
At Lytton Springs West, Ridge has just over three acres of twenty-one year old syrah noir, the California selection from plantings in 1916 and three and a half acres of younger French clones. These parcels are situated in the well-drained Sites soil on the bench overlooking Norton Creek. Since 1996, we have produced limited amounts for the Advance Tasting Program (ATP). Over time, the consistent quality showed syrah to be well matched to the climate and soil of Lytton Estate. As in the past, the 2010 vintage was co-fermented with a small amount of viognier from an adjacent parcel. Following harvest, it was assembled, in blind tasting, from the most intense and distinct lots.
Rainfall: Above average, at 42 inches
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; delaying harvest for a full month.
Harvest Dates: October 1 – 14
Grapes: Average brix 24.8
Fermentation: Whole-berry, destemmed, not crushed, fermented on indigenous yeast; pressed after seven days; natural malolactic.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (39% one and two years old, 61% three and four years old).
Aging: Nineteen months
All estate grown grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and whole berry fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; 0.29g/L tartaric acid addition to three fermentors; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 115 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: 90.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 51
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