2014 Ridge Vineyards, Syrah-Grenache-Mataro, Lytton Estate Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley.
The California Rhone style Lytton Estate bottling for 2014 is a blend of 47% Syrah, 27% Grenache and 26% Mourvedre (Known as Mataro by old-timers in California) and it’s a wonderful wine of layers, depth and complexity with sexy fruit, spice and earthy savory tones. All the 2014 Ridge seem flowing with energy and deep flavors, perfectly ripe and forward, but with plenty of vitality and charm, especially good, I mean great, is their Lytton Estate Vineyard Syrah-Grenache-Mataro 2014 with it’s range of red, blue and black fruits, wild herbs, peppery spices and lovely concentration, it has a rich mouth feel and vibrant freshness with just a faint trace of cedar/vanilla from the light oak shading. The 2014 Syrah-Grenache-Mataro starts with dried violets, camphor/embers, sage/pepper, wild plum and blackberry leading to a lavish palate of loganberry, kirsch, cassis and tangy blueberry fruits along with subtle sandalwood, grenadine, new leather, loam, sticky lavender and anise elements. At 14.5% this is a full bodied wine, but it doesn’t feel heavy or porty, in fact it’s very well judged and is a very expressive wine with fine tannic substance and poise, it should age with grace and flair, I tasted this alongside Ridge’s 2006 Syrah, which was showing extremely well, even from Coravin, and at just over 10 years old it was just starting to open completely, so it would be wise to stash a few bottles away of this 2014 Rhone blend. Lytton Springs is certainly one of my all time favorite places to visit in wine country, there is always something magical to taste at Ridge and the staff are always a pleasure and gracious, plus the view of the old vines out front never gets old anytime of year. Most all of Lytton has been converted to organic practices and variety of wines made here continues to amaze me, the old blocks of Zinfandel, along with some Petite Sirah, Carignane and Alicante Bouschet lead the way, but I do love this Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, even though it requires either a visit to their tasting room or the joining of Ridge’s awesome wine club. Drink this gorgeous red over the next 5 to 10 years!
($36 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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