100% Petite Sirah
95 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
94 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
92 Points – Karen MacNeil, Decanter
Dry Creek Valley
Rich plum, fig, and dark chocolate on the nose. Deep opaque purple in color. Full-bodied on the palate with well-coated tannins, ripe bramble fruit, and hints of baking spices and fresh tarragon. Long mineral finish with well-balanced acidity. MB (6/22)
Petite sirah is a close relative to syrah. Like syrah, it is a dark colored grape that yields wines with floral aromas, deep color and full, rich tannins. To moderate tannins, we fermented the grapes destemmed, as whole berries. Aging in twenty-five percent new oak over sixteen months has softened the wine. Built to age, it will be enjoyable for the next twelve to fifteen years. JO (3/21)
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: 25 inches (below normal)
Weather: Rains in April and May helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 17 September – 3 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.5˚
TA: 6.05 g/L
Fermentation: Whole berry fermentation. Natural primary and secondary; limited pump-overs to once daily; pressed at tens days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (25% new, 20% one year-old, 15% two years-old, 15% three years-old, 15% four years-old, and 10% five years-old).
Aging: Sixteen months in barrel
Hand-harvested; estate-grown organic 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; 73 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: 95 Points “A wine of weight and substance, the 2019 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is fabulous. Best of all, readers won’t have to contend with huge Petite tannins, as those have been handled admirably. Black cherry, plum, exotic spice, leather, tobacco and incense infuse the 2019 with tons of complexity. There’s plenty of supporting structure, but the tannins are pretty much buried. What a wine.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2022)
OwenBargreen.com: 94 Points “The 2019 ‘Lytton Estate’ Petite Sirah is a gorgeous effort that is 100% varietal. Once on the nose this takes on layers of toasty oak with ripe blueberries and dark cherry cordial. This is loaded with minerality, which holds in place a massive core of black and blue fruits with espresso grounds and dark chocolate shavings. Delicious now, enjoy this beauty over the next fifteen years.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2022)
JebDunnuck.com: 93 Points “Looking at the 2019s, the 2019 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is a beauty, offering a plump, fruit-forward, yet concentrated style carrying ample darker black fruits, chocolate, chalky minerality, and roasted herb-like aromas and flavors. It’s a big mouthful of a Petite Sirah that stays balanced and has good freshness and notable structure. It will have 15+ years of longevity.” -Jeb Dunnuck (August 2022)
Wilfred Wong: 93 Points “Grapey, rich, active aromas; chewy and packed on the palate; intense flavors of berries and red fruits.” (September 2022)
Decanter: 92 Points “The history of Petite Sirah in California goes back to the mid-19th century, and today the wine has something of a cult following, albeit a cult that’s not for the faint of heart. This not-at-all-petite Petite Sirah is a powerhouse with a steel door of tannin that will require some years to soften. Immediate drinkers may want to ensure some lamb shanks or short ribs are in the oven! The oldest Petite Sirah vines on Ridge’s Lytton estate were planted in 1901, and the youngest in 2008. Ridge’s commitment to American oak is a blessing here, lending a top note of vanilla to an otherwise dark and gamey wine.” -Karen MacNeil (November 2022)
Wine Enthusiast: 91 Points “This firm, tannic wine will need extended aging to mellow and show its best side. It boasts floral, charred and earthy aromas, and deep, concentrated blueberry and blackberry flavors wrapped tightly in a grippy texture. Best from 2028.” -Jim Gordon (February 2023)
Wine & Spirits: 90 Points “The petite sirah tannins here are big and black, while the fruit itself is red, clean and bright. As you might expect from a petite, it’s youthfully blunt and would benefit from ten years of rest in your cellar. If you open it now, decant it well before dinner for an authentic California pleasure.” -J.G. (November 2022)
See all food pairing recipes we have created specifically for this wine.See pairings