Lytton Springs, with its heat and protection, is an ideal location for growing Petite Sirah. PS, as its commonly known, has a great history in California along with Zinfandel, and I have no doubt that its time has come once again. It thrives in heat producing inky wines of gorgeous colour, but somehow retains a magnificent perfume of violets and summer flowers, and all its gorgeous fruit is majestically laced in ribbons of tightly woven tannin. Its very reminiscent of great, young vintage port with aromas similar to Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, masses of similarly luscious tannins but of course absent the alcohol. In fact with Ridge this variety rarely gets above 13.5% abv.
This wine is made from the oldest Petite Sirah vines on the Lytton Springs estate, planted in 1901, with some younger vines planted in 1987 and 2008. This is 100% Petite Sirah with all the glorious violet perfume of the variety and the detailed, gravelly tannins that are so satisfying with great streak. It can be firm and tannic but with air this is a surprisingly voluptuous wine and will surprise and delight any red wine lovers at a dinner party. Petite Sirah is also known as Durif, the great red grape variety of Rutherglen in northern Victoria, and it has a prodigious capacity to age.
Farming practices are holistic and sustainable and the winery is essentially a glorified cave made with bricks made from vineyard clay, straw and sand, and runs on electricity from photovoltaic cells on the roof. Farmed with organic methods and sustainable practices this as close to natural winemaking as you get without calling it a natural wine.
Origin: Dry Creek Valley / Sonoma County/ California / United States
Grapes: Petite Sirah