59% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 14% Mataro
96 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
93 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
92 Points – Anthony Dias Blue, Blue Lifestyle
91 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Dry Creek Valley
Dark rich plum on the nose with notes of sweet cigar and roasted meat. Medium to full body with elegant, fine-grained tannins. Robust finish that lingers on the palate. MB (3/21)
A small crop of syrah and grenache concentrated color and tannin. We pressed after just seven days of skin contact. The larger yield from the mataro block took longer to ripen. We harvested it the first week of October just prior to the onset of winter rains. Fifteen months aging in American oak has softened tannins and integrated flavors. Enjoyable on release, this elegant, Rhône-style wine will age for seven to eight years.
This wine comes from two hillside parcels at Lytton West. One is planted entirely to syrah while the other is planted to half grenache and half mataro. Mataro, a late ripening variety synonymous with mourvedre, does not always mature before the onset of fall rains.
Rainfall: 25 inches (below normal)
Weather: Winter rains were light this year, totalling 25 inches. Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 7 September – 13 October
Grapes: Average Brix 23.9˚
TA: 5.70 g/L
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; daily pump-overs; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two year-old, 20% three years-old, and 20% four years-old).
Aging: Fifteen 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; 0.4 g/L tartaric acid addition; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush and 86 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: 96 Points “The 2018 Syrah Grenache Mataro Lytton Estate is another powerhouse from Ridge’s Lytton Estate. Dense and also quite structured, the 2018 is not especially forthcoming today. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the tannins to melt away. Intense red fruit, chalk, white pepper, sage and dried herbs are suggestive as to what is to come when that happens.” -Antonio Galloni (May 2022)
JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “Candied strawberries, blueberries, wildflowers, cracked pepper, and violets all emerge from the 2018 Syrah Grenache Mataro, a rich, medium-bodied blend of 59% Syrah, 27% Grenache, and 14% Mataro. It’s balanced and offers wonderful purity as well as firm yet ripe, polished tannins. It will gain a touch more complexity (it’s far from unapproachable today) with short-term bottle age and have 10-12 years of prime drinking.” -Jeb Dunnuck (July 2021)
OwenBargreen.com: 93 Points “A truly unique blend, this beautiful wine shows off really nice smoky tones with white pepper and a touch of dark cherry with tobacco leaf undertones aromatically. The palate shows a silky texture with gobs of mouth-watering acidity and plenty of finesse, as this effortlessly glides throughout the drinking experience. Gorgeous in its youth, enjoy this beauty over the next decade.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2021)
Blue Lifestyle: 92 Points “An elegant aromatic GSM, spiced cassis, blackberry, layered and a long finish, balanced and charming.” -Anthony Dias Blue (May 2021)
Wine Enthusiast: 91 Points “Nicely dry, concentrated and ripe, this full-bodied blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mataro (Mourvèdre) overflows with bright blackberry flavors on a smooth texture aided by a moderate layer of tannins for grip.” -Jim Gordon (August 2021)
Average Rating: 91.1
No. of Tasting Notes: 27
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