2016 Lytton Estate Petite Sirah

2016 Lytton Estate Petite Sirah

Wine Information

100% Petite Sirah

94+ Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
93 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
93 Points – David Honig, Palate Press
90 PointsCalifornia Grapevine
90 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com




Lytton Springs


Dry Creek Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Opaque purple in color, smoky and minerally on the nose. Well coated tannins integrate on the palate with black currant and plum fruit. Finishes with notes of eucalyptus and mint. JO (7/18)

Vintage Notes

Mild August weather created ideal ripening conditions for the petite sirah at Lytton West. The six vineyard blocks were fermented separately for seven days. We selected two hillside parcels to bring depth and texture to the young vines block. After twelve months of barrel aging, tannins have integrated and the wine is beginning to soften. This exemplary petite sirah will develop over the next ten years.


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.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 38 inches (just below normal)
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: A wet December and January help ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Cool weather in April reduced our crop a bit. Harvest started early September and finished mid-month.


Harvest Dates: 5 – 19 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.8˚
Fermentation: Whole berry fermentation. Natural primary and secondary; limited pump-overs to once daily; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (10% new, 45% one and two years old, 45% three and four years old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel

Hand-harvested, sustainably grown, estate grapes; destemmed, whole berry 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; 143 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.


Vinous Media (Aug 2018): 94+ Points “The 2016 Petite Syrah Lytton Springs is another fabulous wine in this range. Dense and powerful, the 2016 is endowed with striking depth and tons of character. The Petite tannins are nicely tamed in a wine that offers superb quality and pedigree. Creme de cassis, graphite, lavender and mint are front and center. The 2016 remains quite primary though, so readers need to be patient.” – Antonio Galloni

JamesSuckling.com (Nov 2018): 93 Points “This exuberant variety is tamed into a very composed and polished style with an array of ripe red plums, mulberries and boysenberries. Super chalky and crunchy tannins here. This is a superb wine. Pure petite sirah. Drink or hold. ” – James Suckling

Palate Press (Dec 2018): 93 Points “Black fruit, brown sugar, and a single tendril of wood smoke roil up from the glass. The palate is big, chewy, mouth-filling, with black and blue fruit, molasses, and pepper. Pencil lead and blackberries dominate the finish. Tannins are firm but well-tamed. Drink with beef ribs. Highly Recommended.” – David Honig

California Grapevine (Nov 2018): 90 Points “Dark purplish ruby; ripe, spicy, rustic, herbal, red and black fruit aroma with oaky undertones and hints of cracked pepper; full body; rich, firmly structured, briary, dark berry fruit flavors with hints of anise and dark chocolate; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Approachable now, though a bit hard and astringent on the finish, deserving a good three to five more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. ” – Nicholas Ponomareff

JebDunnuck.com (February 2019): 90 Points “The 2016 Petite Sirah Lytton Springs boasts notable purity and elegance as well as ample tobacco, violets, graphite, and blueberry fruits. Medium to full-bodied, it has good acidity, is impeccably balanced, and is a more lively, fresh, seamless style Petite Sirah than most out there. It will keep for 10-15 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck

Vinography (March 2019) “Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cassis and black cherry and a touch of wet earth. In the mouth, thick, fleecy tannins wrap around a core of cassis, black cherry and licorice tinged with blue flowers. Good acidity and length, but not overpoweringly rich, thanks to its modest 13.8% alcohol. Score: around 8.5.” – Alder Yarrow

Connoisseurs’ Guide (June 2019): 90 Points “‘Mannerly’ is rarely a term employed in any description of PetiteSirah, but it can be used with a degree of legitimacy here if only by comparison to the varietal norm. The latest from Ridge is a deep and solidly fruity wine redolent of ripe berries, plums, hints of pepper and a touch of dark soil, and, if nicely balanced and close to polished, it does not give up its tannic soul. ‘Crafted’ rather than ‘mannerly’ is probably a better descriptor, but, while the right word might be elusive, there is unquestionably something a bit different here that separates this wine from its many grittier, far more blustery mates.”

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 90.7

No. of Tasting Notes: 52

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Food Pairings

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