Excellent weather during bloom helped set a full crop, and a warm summer ripened the grapes for an early-September harvest. Quick fermentations resulted in balanced extraction. Once malolactics finished, the wine was assembled, and racked to american oak barrels to clarify naturally. Intense flavor and rich texture give it immediate appeal; it will be at its best over the next six to eight years.
Harvest Dates: 6 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.3˚
Fermentation: whole-berry, destemmed, not crushed, fermented in open-top tanks on indigenous yeast; pressed after five days; natural malolactic.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (0% new, 41% one year, 38% two years old, and 21% three years old).
Aging: 21 months in barrel
All estate grown 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; 0.1g/L tartaric acid addition in one of five fermentors; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 110 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 Advocate 94 Points
Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
About Ridge Vineyards
In 1962, Ridge made its first Monte Bello, and two years later its first zinfandel. Since that time, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare and exceptional vineyards where climate, soil, and variety are ideally matched.
At Lytton Springs West, Ridge has just over three acres of twenty-four 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 Sites 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 2014 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.