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52% Syrah, 48% Grenache
Dry Creek Valley
Saturated ruby color. Highly scented mixed red/black berry fruits, gamey, clay earth, sweet toasted oak, and chai-black pepper spice. Dense entry, rich dark berry flavors, full bodied, viscous, layered complexity, and dusty-clay earth aftertaste. Great concentration. EB (3/17)
A second drought year advanced harvest by a month. Syrah was picked first, followed by grenache—delayed by a heavier crop that took longer to ripen. Once pressed, a single parcel of syrah was combined, by taste, with three small grenache lots. In barrel, it was racked off its lees quarterly to clarify. This elegant wine shows beautiful fruit and exotic spice. It will be at its best over the next seven or eight years.
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, a straight grenache block planted in 1991, and two Syrah parcels planted in 1992 and 1993. Ridge then planted two more Syrah parcels in 2001.
Rainfall: 24.5 inches (below average)
Bloom: Early to mid-May
Weather: Warm spring and early summer, followed by cooler weather that slowed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 19 September – 7 October
Grapes: Average brix 23.9˚
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 five days.
Barrels: Air-dried american oak (48% new, 33% two years old, 19% four and five 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, 0.40 grams/liter tartaric acid added to three fermenters; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 97 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: 90.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 62
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