2016 Lytton Estate Syrah

2016 Lytton Estate Syrah

Wine Information

93% Syrah, 7% Viognier – Organically Grown

95 Points + Cellar SelectionWine Enthusiast
95 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com




Lytton Springs


Dry Creek Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Deep ruby-purple color with aromas of blackberries, sweet oak, licorice, peach, and white flowers. Palate of dense, dark berries, fine-grained tannins, fennel, and game. Clay earth mineral, spice, and toasted oak on the finish. EB (8/18)

Vintage Notes

Though weakened by five years of drought, the vines set a good crop. Mid- September heat fully ripened the grapes. Whole berries of syrah and viognier co-fermented in four small tanks. Eight days of fermentation extracted deep color and firm tannins. Twenty-six months in barrel softened those tannins. This opulent wine will continue to develop over the next decade.


At Lytton Springs West, Ridge has just over three acres of twenty-six 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 2016 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.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 38 inches (above average)
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: A wet December and January helped ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Fine weather in May rebounded our crop to near normal levels. Harvest started early (late-August) and finished in mid-September.


Harvest Dates: 10 – 13 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.8˚
TA: 6.40 g/L
pH: 3.57
Fermentation: Whole-berry, destemmed, not crushed, fermented in open-top tanks on indigenous yeast; pressed after eight days; natural malolactic.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (5% new, 75% one year-old, and 20% two years-old).
Aging: Twenty-six months in barrel

All estate grown, organic grapes, hand-harvested; destemmed and whole berry fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; 0.2g/L tartaric acid addition in two of four fermentors; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 105 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 “Powerful flavors and an effortless sense of balance and ease make this concentrated, organically grown wine easy to love. Intense blackberry and violet notes are accented by hints of woodsmoke and black pepper while firm but polished tannins add great grip.” -Jim Gordon (August 2021)

Blue Lifestyle: 95 Points “Dark with lush blueberry, boysenberry and cassis fruit, silky texture and 7% Viognier to give it spice, a remarkable wine.” -Anthony Dias Blue (May 2021)

Vinous: 94 Points “The 2016 Syrah Lytton Estate is fabulous. Dense, rich and impressively constituted, the 2016 possesses off the charts intensity. At five years of age, it is also incredibly young! Inky dark fruit, cloves, lavender, graphite and incense all saturate the palate. I would not touch a bottle anytime soon.” -Antonio Galloni (May 2022)

JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “Lots of classic Syrah black and almost blue fruits as well as pepper and violet notes emerge from the 2016 Syrah Lytton Estate. Medium-bodied, it has a rich, layered texture, some subtle vanilla fruits, lots of floral characteristics, and outstanding length. The blend is 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier. It does have some vanilla-laced oak that should integrate with just a year or three of bottle age, but it certainly offers lots of pleasure today as well.” -Jeb Dunnuck (July 2021)

OwenBargreen.com: 93 Points “The 2016 ‘Lytton Estate’ Syrah is blended with 7% Viognier. The beautiful floral tones from the Viognier really work wonders, as rich black tea and blackberry tones fill the nose. The palate is generous and bright with a silky texture. With beautiful length, this has some really nice aging potential.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2021)

Consumer Tasting Notes

Average Rating: 91.9

No. of Tasting Notes: 28

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