First Ridge Syrah Lytton Estate 1996 Location The bench and hills separating Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys, just north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Soils Varied, with a predominance of gravelly clay and gravelly clay loam on the hillsides. Training Vertical-shoot-positioned trellis Yields 1.5 - 3.0 tons per acre Rainfall Below average, less than 40 inches Bloom Early May (one to two weeks early) Weather Dry winter, warm spring and summer; harvest began by mid-August. Harvest Dates 29 August - 5 September Grapes Average brix 25.6? Fermentation Whole-berry, destemmed, not crushed, fermented on indigenous yeast; pressed after eleven days. Barrels 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 75% two to seven years old) Aging Twenty-two months in barrel
They show the potent, ripe boysenberry and blackberry of old-vine Sonoma zinfandel, notes of leaf and briar, and the intricacy of multiple varietals. Acid and tannin are firm, yet not overwhelming; in youth, at least, fruit predominates. These balanced, powerful zins become more nuanced with age.