97% Petite Sirah, 3% Zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley
Opaque purple in color, pepper, eucalyptus and toasty oak on the nose, plentiful blackberry, plum fruit on the palate, full-bodied with well coated tannins and a long finish.
Warm weather through the growing season and aggressive thinning led to early ripening, and, atypically, harvesting petite sirah before zinfandel. To manage the extra concentration of lower yields, we limited pump overs, and kept press wines separate. This is one of the most structured petite sirahs we have made from Lytton Estate. Sixteen months in American oak added spice and complexity to the dark, layered fruit. Full bodied but balanced, the wine will develop over the next ten years. JO (12/14)
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 a another limited release and in 2009 our first national release.
Rainfall: 24 – 30 inches (below average)
Weather: Warm spring and early summer followed by cooler weather that slowed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 4 – 12 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.7 degrees
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; limited pump-overs to once daily and kept free run and press wines separate; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 40% one and two years old, 35% three and four years old).
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel
Hand harvested, sustainably grown, estate grapes; destemmed and partially crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; 0.43 g/L tartaric acid added; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 180 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.
Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine (March 2016): 90 Points “Temperate in terms of obvious ripeness yet fully extracted and varietally on point with black pepper and dusty earth adjuncts to its constant, well-defined blackberry fruit, this comparatively composed offering does not go to extremes and stays well away from the challenging toughness of its much coarser cousins. Its chewy tannins are par for the Petite Sirah course, but they are always buffered by fruit, and, while a half-decade of age makes a lot of sense here, the wine will not dissuade hard-core Petite fans from drinking it much sooner.”
The Wine Advocate (October 2015): 91 Points “Incorporating 3% Zinfandel, the inky colored 2013 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is a concentrated, rich, yet streamlined and focused red that gives up a a lot of scorched earth, asphalt, licorice and perfumed black fruits. While it’s deep and concentrated, it doesn’t expand on the palate and has a straight, narrow feel. Nevertheless, it’s admirably concentrated, pure and elegant, with good acidity and structure, all of which will allow it to evolve gracefully for 10-15 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Vinous Media (July 2015): 93 Points. “The 2013 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is oddly enough quite civilized and even a touch tame by Petite standards. There is plenty of inky blue/black-fleshed fruit but the tannins are surprisingly soft. Game, smoke and a hint of tobacco add nuance through the mid-palate and finish. The 2013 is a beautiful wine, but readers expecting a full-on Petite experience might be slightly disappointed, as this is an especially tamed Petite with varietal character that has largely been subdued.” – Antonio Galloni
Read review online at VinousMedia.com (subscription required)
Average Rating: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 48
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