50% Syrah, 50% Grenache
Dry Creek Valley
Deep garnet color. Scented blueberry and currant fruits, fennel, and clay earth. Ripe stone fruits entry, round tannins, sweet toasted oak; long moderately chalky-tannic finish. EB (10/16)
Abundant sunshine provided ideal growing conditions, and a smaller-than-average crop allowed the fruit to develop intense flavor and color. Harvested in early October, the grapes were destemmed, but not crushed; all four parcels (two of each varietal) fermented separately. The wine aged for two years in American oak, and was racked quarterly for clarity. It will be most enjoyable over the next seven to nine years. (9/14)
Ridge became involved with grenache quite by accident when, in 1972, we first harvested the vines planted in 1902 on the eastern hills of Lytton Springs. Though we didn’t know it then, one of the hills 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 percentages 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 3.1 acres of mature syrah, and 6.6 acres of syrah (together with a small amount of viognier) planted in 2001.
Rainfall: 24 inches (below average)
Weather: Warm spring and a long, mild summer, that nicely ripened grapes.
Harvest Dates: 30 September – 3 October
Grapes: Average brix 25.3˚
Fermentation: 100% destemmed, and fermented as whole berries in open top tanks. 100% natural primary and secondary fermentations. Juice circulated through the cap of skins daily. Pressed at six days.
Barrels: Air-dried American oak (5% new, 62% one and two years old, 33% three years old)
Aging: Twenty-four months in barrel.
Hand harvested, sustainably grown, estate grapes; destemmed and left uncrushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; during fermentation, 0.53 grams/liter tartaric acid added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 145 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: 91.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 57
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