Notes on the Ridge Vineyards Lytton West Sonoma Syrah 2005 : NVWE NOTES: Expressive and focused, the aromas of this fine Syrah blend sweet cherry, black pepper, red raspberry, crushed red rose, mint and a trace of camphor into a lovely aromatic melange. It is sleek and supple, but intensely flavorful on the palate, with beautifully focused pomegranate, cherry, mineral, black tea and black pepper flavors. The finish is lingering, racy and brilliantly balanced for food matching. This already delicious bottling will be better in three years, but dont be afraid to try it now with a well-spiced leg read more...of lamb. Blended with 6% Viognier.WINEMAKER NOTES: A warm February allowed the syrah vines an early start, but cold weather returned in March and persisted through May, setting them back five weeks. Summer's warmth was followed by an unusually foggy August and September. The fruit was fully ripe by late September, and all six parcels were harvested within six days. The grapes were destemmed but left uncrushed, and filled eight small tanks. By the third day, natural yeasts began the fermentations. For extraction of color, flavor, and tannin, a limited amount of juice was circulated twice daily over the cap of skins. Pressed at six days on average, the free run wines completed a natural malolactic fermentation and were racked to barrel. Assemblage was determined in late spring by blind tasting of the eight possible components. The oldest parcels produced wine of exceptional depth and density; the younger yielded focused fruit and soft, balanced tannins. Five lots were chosen for this fine syrah, and aged for a total of twenty-one months in air-dried american oak. Enjoyable now for its forward, spicy fruit, it will develop greater complexity over the next ten years. (EB 05/07)2005 Syrah Lytton West, bottled August 2004, 94% Syrah, 6% ViognierRIDGE VINEYARDS LYTTON WEST SONOMA SYRAH 2005 (hide)
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines6% Viognier. There is a sense of refinement and pure precision about this bottling that not only moves it to the head of the class but sets it in a class all its own. Very deep and impeccably structured, it eschews runaway ripeness in favor of layered richness and real nuance, and it begs for comparison with the fine wines of C o te Rotie rather than its more blustery Californian kin. It is as classy and sophisticated as local Syrah is likely to get, and it is bound to age famously by dint of bal...