2008 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate Dry Creek Valley

Savory, black-fruited, and ready now

2008 Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate Dry Creek Valley

On release in early 2010, Ridge suggested an eight- to twelve-year aging window for this Lytton Syrah. The wine is in a sweet spot now.

Syrah grapes from four of the estate’s parcels were de-stemmed, then placed without crushing into fermenters. A portion of Viognier was added to each tank, in a nod to Côte-Rôtie; the grape constitutes about 11 percent of the finished blend. Primary and secondary fermentations were both spontaneous, and the wine was racked into one- and two-year American oak barrels for aging.

The scent now is meaty, with black bramble fruits adorned by the brothy staining of age; my notes say “it smells like red leather.” The body suggests violets steeped in bouillon and tea, and the fruit is all black—blackberry and cassis—with a black coffee savoriness. Notes of rare and cured meats add depth while juicy acidity contributes lift, but the finish, is, again, a wash of beefy umami.

Delicious with charcuterie and aged cheeses, roasted game or fowl, mushrooms, anything savory.

14.9% abv | private purchase | about 1,000 cases made

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