Tried these three last week:
1. Ridge Syrah Calif LyttonWestVnyd/DryCreekVlly (94% Syrah/6% Viog; 14.5%; bttld August 2007; 21 mo. in air-dried Am.oak; Drk: 5/07-5/17: EB) 2005: Very dark/near black color w/ little bricking; strong blackberry/blueberry/Syrah some vanilla/Am.oak/smokey slight peppery/roasted/Rhonish bit Cornas-like classic Ridge red rather complex nose; bit soft slight tangy/metallic strong blackberry/blueberry/Syrah some vanilla/Ridge oak slight Rhonish/rough/rustic/bit Cornas-like flavor w/ modest drying tannins; very long/lingering strong smokey/vanilla/Am.oak strong lackberry/Syrah bit earthy/rustic/Cornas-like finish w/ modest drying tannins; speaks strongly of Syrah w/ a Ridge accent; more Syrah fruit than the '04 but a bit rough/tannic & starting to dry out a bit.
2. Ridge Syrah Calif LyttonEstate (82% Syrah/10% Viog/8% Grenache; 14.4%; bttld August 2006; 22 air-dried Am.oak; Drk: 4/06-4/11-4/13: EB/PD) 2004: Very dark color w/ very slight bricking; less intense blueberry/blackberry/Syrah slight licorice/peppery less vanilla/Am/oak slight dusty/earthy bit Rhonish/smokey some complex nose; slightly tart/tangy some Ridge/vanilla/oak light Rhonish/blackberry/Syrah/blueberry some complex flavor w/ light drying tannins; vey long/lingering some blackberry/blueberry/Syrah slight licorice some vanilla/Am.oak finish w/ light drying tannins; bit more smooth & complex & evolved but starting to dry out a bit.
3. Ridge Syrah Calif LyttonWest/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (91% Syrah/9% Viog; 14.8%; bttld June 05; whole berry floating cap frmtion; Co-fermented Viog; Aged: 18 mo. in air-dried Am.oak; Drk: 3/05-3/15-??: PD) 2003: Very dark color w/ some bricking; strong blackberry/blueberry/Syrah/fairly spicy bit peppery light vanilla/Ridge oak classic LS spiciness slight Cornas/Rhonish fairly complex nose; bit soft fairly rich/lush strong blackberry/blueerry/Syrah some cedary/pencilly/Am.oak slight Cornas/Rhonish/roasted some complex flavor w/ modest smooth tannins; very long/lingering soft/rich/lush strong blackberry/blueberry/Syrah some LS spicy/peppery some some cedary/pencilly/Ridge oak some complex finish w/ light gentle tannins; seems to be in about a perfect place right now; a lovely fully mature Ridge Syrah.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. I've long ago made my peace w/ the Ridge Syrahs. I remember when DonnReisen brought a sample btl of the first Ridge Syrah, the '96 as I recall, to the DaveJonesMemorialPotluck at the SantaFe W&C Fiesta. I was very excited to try it. But he could tell from my looks that it was not what I was hoping for. He put his hand on my shoulder, gave me this all-knowing look, and told me to give it some time. I did, and I was still not impressed by it.
The Ridge Syrahs speak distinctly of Syrah, but w/ the Ridge winemaking dominating the wine. They mature into old Ridge red wines, but still speaking more of Ridge winemaking than any other Calif Syrah. Afore one of the RhoneRangers tastings, I got Paul/Eric/Dave to organize a tasting up on MonteBelloRidge of some of the older Ridge Rhones. I decided I liked what I was tasting. As the man w/ the little hands says: "It is what it is".
It's like listening to an Aussie speaking on the Impact of the Higgs Bosun on Western Civilization. It's easy to focus on the fact that, though English, he speaks very funny and then lose the content of his talk. So, even though the Ridge Syrahs speak strongly of Ridge winemaking, they still speak strong of Syrah as well. It's just that this is how Ridge makes their Syrah, unlike anybody else's. And they typically mature into interesting old Ridge red, unlike anybody else's. Just live with it.

Edited by TomHill (08-08-2020 16:13:53)