62% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 11% Mataro
94 Points – Wine & Spirits
92 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
92 Points – grapelive.com
90 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
Dry Creek Valley
Inky dark color. Pepper, chocolate and cassis on the nose followed by unctuous plum, chocolate and mint on the palate. Lingering finish with a hint of sage. JO (2/20)
Heavy winter rains broke the drought, replenishing moisture to the soil. Warm summer weather helped bring the mataro, a late ripening grape, to perfect maturity. Excellent concentration from the syrah brings color and depth. After twelve months in barrel, tannins have softened, revealing the spicy character of this Rhône varietal wine. Enjoyable upon release, it will evolve over another six-to seven years.
This wine comes from two hillside parcels at Lytton West. One is planted entirely to syrah while the other we planted to half grenache and half mataro. A late ripening variety, mataro, synonymous with mourvedre, does not always mature before the onset of fall rains. In 2017, both ripened fully and we fermented them separately. After malolactic we decided to combine the elegant fruit of the grenache with the earthier mataro and syrah.
Rainfall: 61.5 inches (above normal)
Weather: A wet winter gave us much needed rain. 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: 5 & 30 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.1˚
TA: 6.21 g/L
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; daily pump-overs; pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (10% new, 40% one and two years-old, 30% three years-old, and 20% four and five years-old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand-harvested, sustainably grown, estate grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; 0.6 g/L tartaric acid addition; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush and 103 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: 94 Points “This wine undergoes a fascinating transformation as it develops over the course of several days. It seems rich and heady when first poured, the lively red fruit broadening out to fill a wide frame of tannins. Yielding delicious freshness, the wine gains focus, and the structure seems to tighten. The flavors tessellate into a layered pattern of shattered rock, raspberry and the concentrated earthiness of fruit, a character more often found in old-vine fruit. The vines, in fact, date to 1999 though 2001, a planting at Lytton West based on research David Gates and his team conducted after Ridge purchased the Lytton Springs Vineyard in 1991. These young-adult vines grow on a hill near the Lytton Springs winery where John Olney makes this blend. Whatever it is that defines the through line in the great wines of Ridge, this 2017 seems to have it.” -J.G. (February 2021 Issue)
Blue Lifestyle: 92 Points “A lovely GSM that is complex and spicy with lively fruit and notes of earth; juicy, tangy and dense; long, charming and balanced with tangy raspberry fruit; racy and showing a long, fresh finish.”
-Anthony Dias Blue (April 2020)
JebDunnuck.com: 90 Points “The 2017 Syrah Grenache Mataro comes all from the Dry Creek Valley and is a Syrah-dominated blend that includes 27% Grenache and 11% Mataro. It’s a spicy, blue fruited, peppery effort offering medium-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity, firm tannins, and outstanding length. It’s going to evolve for 7-8 years.” -Jeb Dunnuck (May 2020)
Average Rating: 90.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 39
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