94% Petite Sirah, 6% Zinfandel
94 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
93 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
92+ Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
92 Points – Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate
Dry Creek Valley
Deep dark purplish-black color, peppery, floral aromas. Full bodied with rich layered plum and fig fruit on the palate. Well coated tannins and a long minerally finish. JO (7/19)
Heavy winter rains replenished groundwater and gave the vines a much needed break from the drought. The petite sirah at Lytton Springs responded with a full crop. A series of very warm days in August, however, caused stress on the vines and a loss of twenty percent of the fruit. An adjacent block of zinfandel was included to soften tannins. This full- bodied petite sirah will be enjoyable over the next fifteen 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. In 2002, we began bottling portions of the petite sirah as a separate wine for a limited release, up until then 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: 38 inches (just below normal)
Weather: A wet winter gave us the needed rains. Cool weather in the spring affected set across all varieties. Several heat spikes in late June, July and August saw temperatures over 105 degrees. Harvest started before the Labor Day heat wave hit; we quickly finished harvesting by mid-September.
Harvest Dates: 1 – 9 September
Grapes: Average Brix 23.5˚
Fermentation: Whole berry fermentation. Natural primary and secondary; limited pumpovers to once daily; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 20% one year-old, 30% three years-old, 15% four years-old, and 15% five 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; 93 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.
JamesSuckling.com: 94 Points “Crushed red and purple wildflowers, blueberries, cassis and leaves, all intermingled. This has a superbly juicy array of fresh and succulent dark plums and blackberries and delivers it all in effortlessly attractive mode. 94% petite sirah and 6% zinfandel. Drink or hold.” – James Suckling (December 2019)
Vinous Media: 93 Points “The 2017 Petite Syrah Lytton Estate is another superb wine from Ridge’s Lytton ranch. Inky dark fruit and expressive savory notes infuse this bombastic, heady Petite with tremendous nuance and surprising freshness. The 2017 is very young at this stage, but it clearly has the structure to age. My impression is that it will be even better once some of the baby fat melts away. Even today, though, the 2017 is superb.” – Antonio Galloni (October 2019)
Zinfandel Chronicles: 93 Points “Savory nose of black fruits, creosote, wet pavement and spice. Full bodied with strong acidity. Dark and brooding with copious tannins. Blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate and barbecued meats on the palate. The finish is long with chalky tannins. Somewhat approachable now but this wine will age effortlessly for at least a decade.” – Tom Lee (September 2019)
JebDunnuck.com: 92+ Points “The inky colored 2017 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate (94% Petite Sirah and 6% Zinfandel) comes all from the Lytton Estate in the Dry Creek Valley. It has a powerful bouquet of spice plums, blackberries, scorched earth, and chocolate that gives way to a medium to full-bodied, ripe, opulent red with the depth and density to keep for 10-15 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck (November 2019)
The Wine Advocate: 92 Points “Medium to deep ruby, it has a singular nose of candied cherry, violet, loamy earth and ash with white peach, potpourri, earth and oodles of black and blue brambly fruits at the core. Medium to full-bodied, it’s lushly fruited with a mineral vein, firm, chalky-textured tannins and good freshness, finishing long on a savory note.” – Erin Brooks (February 2020)
Average Rating: 90.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 36
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