93% Syrah, 7% Viognier, Organically Grown
95 Points (Cellar Selection) – Wine Enthusiast
94 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
94 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
93 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Dry Creek Valley
Saturated garnet-red color. Initial nose is restrained, showing dark berry fruit, clay earth, gaminess, fennel, and pepper. It opens up on entry showing rich blackberry fruit, roasted vegetables, prosciutto, fennel, and great length to its finish. This has superb aging potential. EB (2/20)
A mild winter prompted early bud-break. Late April storms disrupted set, reducing yields by half. Harvested in September, destemmed whole berries of syrah and viognier co-fermented. The wine finished malolactic in barrel and got extended time on the gross lees. This superb vintage shows intense fruit and the minerality of the sub-soils at Lytton Estate. Drinkable now, it will develop fully in ten years.
At Lytton Springs West, Ridge has just over three acres of twenty-three 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 site’s soil on the bench overlooking Norton Creek. Since 1996, we have produced limited amounts of syrah 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 2015 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: 33.2 inches (just below normal)
Bloom: Mid May
Weather: Very wet December, followed by the driest January on record (0.05″). Cool, wet late spring helped with rainfall totals, but reduced our crop across all varieties. Harvest started early September and finished quickly.
Harvest Dates: 3 – 8 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1˚
TA: 6.7 g/L
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentations; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (100% one-year-old Ozark oak).
Aging: Seventeen months in barrel
Hand-harvested; estate grown grapes; destemmed and whole berry fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; 0.31g/L tartaric acid addition in one of three fermentors; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 91 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 Enthusiast: 95 Points + Cellar Selection “This impressive and complex wine is alluring from the first whiff through the lingering finish. It front-loads spicy, smoky, meaty aromas followed by rich, chewy, pomegranate, black-pepper and cocoa-nib flavors that are deep and delicious. A velvety blanket of fine grained tannins soothes the palate. Best from 2024 to 2030.” – Jim Gordon (January 2021)
JebDunnuck.com: 94 Points “Incorporating a whopping 7% Viognier, the 2015 Syrah Lytton Estate is starting to show some maturity as well as additional complexity. Lots of blue fruits, melted licorice, sandalwood, and cured meat notes all emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied beauty is balanced, with a layered texture, ripe tannins, and a rocking finish. This is a killer bottle of Syrah that will continue drinking nicely for another decade.” – Jeb Dunnuck (May 2020)
Blue Lifestyle: 94 Points “Deep and dark with smooth texture and ripe blackberry fruit; lush and rounded by being co-fermented with a small addition of Viognier; minerally, dense and long.” – Anthony Dias Blue (April 2020)
Vinous Media: 93 Points “Now with a few years in bottle, the 2015 offers lovely aromatic nuance. Worn-in leather, tobacco, cedar, menthol, game, licorice and espresso all open up in the glass. The 2015 is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next 7-10 years.” -Antonio Galloni (September 2020)
Average Rating: 91.7
No. of Tasting Notes: 16
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