Featured Wine Of The Weekend: 2006 Lytton Estate Grenache!

Launchin’ a lil’ bit of a fun new thing here at Ridge Vineyards this weekend: a new Featured Wine highlight!

The gist is this: each week, we’ll be tasting through potential weekend offerings, and debating out how things are showing, and what seems to be really poppin’. Once a consensus is reached, we’ll assemble some internal tasting notes, find a special spot on the menu, and showcase a particular wine.

To inaugurate the series, we’ve selected a really tremendous offering: the 2006 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Estate Grenache.


As with all of our winery-only offerings (made available initially and primarily through the ATP branch of our Wine Club), this is a wine that saw additional bottle maturation in our cellars prior to release; one of the many advantages of the ATP program is that, because the wines are not distributed, we do not accordingly have to meet any distributor’s schedules; this then accordingly affords us the luxury of essentially “cellaring to taste”; meaning, we release the wine at the dawning of what we feel to be its optimum pourability cycle.

Such was definitely the case with the grenache, and such has traditionally been the case historically as well. While evidencing much that is varietally classic, the older-vine grenache from Lytton can be anamolistic in one signature way; the firmness of the tannin architecture. Accordingly, additional cellaring can be very beneficial.

The 2006 Lytton Estate Grenache was released early in 2012, and is now truly coming into full flower. Regrettably, this also means it is closing in on the end of its inventory allocation! Sadly for all of us who love this wine, with only about 100 cases left, this isn’t a wine we’ll have the pleasure of sharing much longer. All the more reason to showcase it this weekend!

To see where we’ve placed this wine in the weekend menu at Lytton Springs, please click here (and scroll down to the tasting menu link):


And for Monte Bello, please click here:


As to tasting notes for this wine, I’ve two sets to offer; from myself, and from Amy Monroe, our Hospitality Coordinator and resident Oenophile Extraordinaire. First, Amy:

Color: Lovely medium garnet.  Clear – could read my notes through it. 

 Nose: Dried fruit, dark chocolate, currant, blackberry, mint

 Palate: To begin, the wine shows a fair amount of old-world/rustic tannin at the front of the palate.  This tannin dissolves into the somewhat “sweeter” fruit notes described above at mid-palate, but the tannin and the dryness it elicits is an excellent counterbalance against the fruit, resulting in a wine that is not at all sweet, but is instead an interplay of complimentary opposites on the flavor spectrum.  The finish is characterized by a fresh, mouth-watering acidity that creates length – a flavorful, lingering memory of what has just been experienced.

—AM, 1.11.13 

And from yours truly:

Appearance: Somber garnet alight with raspberry highlights; translucent clarity & pale of halo; fairly adhesive glaze with slow-moving & gravitas-laden legs.

 Aromatics: Pannetone-esque dried fruit, hints of pomegranate; a certain cool minty piney-ness balanced against cocoa, sap and maple.

 Palate: Rustic and firm tannin up front, sliding into a surprisingly light & bright acidity; deep harvest-berry fruit profile

 Finish: Centrally-focused, not as wide as in its youth, but longer and more concentrated. Acidity is beautiful, tannins are integrated.

 Summary: Perfect at table; a great food wine. Excellent with higher-fat dishes, and exotic spices will complement exotic dishes. Consider Indian or Coconut Milk-based Thai.

—CW, 1.11.13


We hope to see you this weekend, and look very forward to sharing with you this lovely wine! Cheers!

Categories: Grenache, Lytton Springs, Monte Bello, Offerings, Rhone varietals, RIDGE Staff, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Tasting Flights, Tasting Notes, Tasting Rooms, Varietals & Blends, Vintage Wine Labels, Wine & Food Pairing, Wine Quotes

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