100% Petite Sirah
The hills and bench land separating Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys
Dark purple/violet. Black pepper, cocoa, tobacco, black currants and a hint of cinnamon on the nose. Blackberry and plum fruit flavors followed by full but well coated tannins, firm acidity and a long finish.
This wine comes from a block of vines on a rocky knoll at Lytton Springs West. As grape varietals go, petite sirah is not hard to understand. It’s King Kong. The trick, therefore, once it’s harvested and in the winery, is to find its softer side and coax out some of the light- hearted elements that lurk within. In 2011, we think we achieved just that. After a whole berry, natural yeast fermentation, the wine was aged for fourteen months in american oak. Floral, peppery, and enjoyable now, this limited release will be best over the next ten years. JO (12/12)
The oldest petite sirah vines on our Lytton Estate were planted in 1901 and the youngest in 1998. We made our first wine from the property in 1972 and until 2002 when we bottled portions of the petite sirah as a separate wine for a limited release, it had always been included in the Lytton Springs Zinfandel. In 2003 we made another limited release and in 2009 our first national release.
Rainfall: 40 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Wet spring and a typical cool summer, with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 30 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.1
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; pressed at ten days.
Barrel: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two years old, 40% three and four years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
All estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and partially crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush; 102ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions. Ingredients: Hand harvested, sustainably grown grapes, indigenous yeasts, naturally occurring malolactic bacteria, minimum effective SO2.
Vinous Media (July 2013): “The 2011 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is fabulous. There is plenty of varietal notes in the glass, but the mid-weight structure is classic Ridge. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and melted road tar are layered into the explosive finish. The 2011 need some time in the glass for some initially awkward notes to blow off, so readers should be prepared to give the wine quite a bit of air.” -Antonio Galloni (Rated: 94+)
Wine Spectator (31 March 2014): “A fresh fruit and pure berry expression of Petite, with flavors of raspberry, huckleberry and pepper that are crisp and refreshing, with good purity to the core of fruit, showing tobacco accents and a smoky black tea note. The tannins gain some traction on the finish. Drink now through 2024.” –MW -MW (Rated: 92)
Average Rating: 89.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 44
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