Tasting Notes: 2008 Lytton Estate Syrah/Grenache

Video still

Video still

2008 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Estate Syrah/Grenache

Evidencing an intensely saturated and amethystian concentration of color in the glass, the borderline-impenetrable density of the liquid is visually lifted by the brilliance of the light-catching garnet limn. As the wine rolls against the bowl-sides, a stately and crystal-draping chemise forms, from which emerges impossibly slow-moving legs of a demurely elegant narrowness.

Aromatically, the wine is rich with mixed dark fruits balanced by a smoky earthiness and a compelling hint of anise. A brambly berry sweetness conjures olallieberry turnover, and there is just a trace of wintry clove hovering over it all.

The wine is surprisingly light on its feet as it lands on the palate; the acidity positively dances across the tongue, and while there is a certain viscous weight that lays generously in the cheeks, the excitement’s percolation remains essentially centrally-focused from start to finish. The primary measure of palate information still remains front-side —in indicator of the wine’s still youthful architecture — and while the primary fruit is somewhat restrained in its length, the supplemental components linger pleasingly into the finish; a finish in which the full measure of tannin emerges; tannins that, while well-coated with fruit, and of a powdery character, still dominate the close with an intense musculature and dusky minerality.

A blend of this construct succeeds on the strength of its integrative endeavor, and in this instance, the Syrah and Grenache are en route to a brilliant harmonization, with all the dark and low soulfulness of the Syrah being matched blue note for blue note with the rogueish enervation and spice of the Grenache. If there is a disclaimer, it is that the wine is indeed still young, despite having benefited from additional maturation in our cellars prior to release; as noted above, the tannins are still on the edge of aggressive, and the dance of the two varietals is still tilted a bit in favor of the Syrah, with the Grenache only just beginning to lend its singular exotics to the otherwise deep and wintry gravitas of this complex and compelling display of saturated blues and blacks.

Categories: Grenache, Lytton, Offerings, Syrah, Tasting Notes, Tasting Rooms, Varietals & Blends, Video

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1 reply

  1. And here I thought Henry James to be dead a hundred years give or take.

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