95 Points, Antonio Galloni
100% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
Opaque purple in color. Complex nose of blackberry, plum, tarragon, mint, and cocoa. Beautifully well-balanced. Full-bodied with chalky tannins. Rich and concentrated plum and mint on the finish.
Though limited, welcome rain in February and March allowed the petite sirah to endure a third year of drought. Nature thinned the crop in early June, when several days above 100˚ caused sunburn in the clusters. After fermenting separately, six of the seven parcels were selected for their depth of flavor, quality of tannins, and sumptuous texture. One of the most elegant petite sirahs we have produced, it will evolve over the next ten years. JO (10/15)
The oldest petite sirah vines on our Lytton Estate were planted in 1901 and the youngest in 2008. 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: Eighteen inches (below average)
Weather: Very dry and cold December and January; most of the rain fell February through April. Cool spring and early summer delayed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 2 – 9 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.8˚
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 (20% new, 55% one and two years old, 25% three years old).
Aging: Fourteen 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; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush; 125 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.
Wine & Spirits (Winter 2017): 94 Points. “The oldest petite sirah vines on Ridge’s Lytton Springs property were planted in 1901; the youngest were planted as recently as 2008. This particular bottling comes from vines planted in the 1980s and 1990s, on the western side of the gravelly Lytton bench. It seems dense and oak-dominated at first, but pay attention to its flavors as they develop—you’ll find a fresh, crisply defined petite that lasts on bright acidity and a vivid mineral spark. It’s gripping but actually not dense at all, with the sort of powerful yet layered complexity you might find in an old-vine Douro blend, red and black fruit rising toward lasting green peppercorn and bay leaf aromas. Ridge has a track record for long-lived petites; some of the York Creek wines from the mid-1980s are still beautiful and astonishingly youthful. Give this one at least a decade before touching it.”
The Wine Advocate (October 2016): 90 Points. “The inky colored 2014 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate shows the more forward style of the vintage with its big, succulent aromas and flavors of smoked black fruits, vanilla bean, scorched earth and leather. Lightly textured, graceful (especially for a Petite Sirah), with building tannin, it isn’t a blockbuster and leans more towards the elegant end of the spectrum. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.” -Jeb Dunnuck
Vinous Media (July 2016): 95 Points. “The 2014 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is outstanding. Deep, luscious and intense, but with none of the aggressiveness Petite so often presents, the 2014 is utterly captivating from the very first taste. Dark red and blue-hued stone fruits, mint, spices and licorice are front and center. The purity of the fruit here is simply remarkable. As hard as it may be to believe, the 2014 can be enjoyed on the young side. This is a tremendous wine. Don’t miss it!” -Antonio Galloni
Average Rating: 91.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 97
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