90% Syrah, 10% Viognier
Dry Creek Valley
Saturated purple color. Aromas of ripe briar fruit, violets, fennel, and clay minerals. Rich dark fruit entry, velvety tannins, sweet oak, plush texture, and a long, complex finish. EB (1/17)
Warm, dry days provided the polar opposite of 2011. Harvested in late September, the fruit was destemmed but not crushed. Cofermenting viognier enhanced aroma, moderated tannins, and stabilized color. Once malolactics finished, the two oldest syrah blocks were combined. Two years’ aging has added exotic spice to the intense fruit. Eight to nine years will resolve tannins and develop still greater complexity. PD (9/14)
At Lytton Springs West, Ridge has just over three acres of twenty-two 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 2012 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: 24 inches (below average)
Weather: Warm spring and a long, mild summer that nicely ripened the grapes.
Harvest Dates: 24 September through 3 October
Grapes: Average brix 25.4˚
Fermentation: whole-berry, destemmed, not crushed, fermented in open top tanks on indigenous yeast; pressed after six days; natural malolactic.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (17% new, 20% one year and 63% two years old).
Aging: 24 months in barrel
All estate grown grapes, hand harvested; destemmed and whole berry fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; 0.33g/L tartaric acid addition in three fermenters; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 162 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: 91.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 45
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