Tasting Note                         

92+     2005 Ridge Lytton West Syrah        7/12/08 ($35)

94% Syrah, 6% Viognier    14.5% alc
Color: Dense purple-black raspberry.(3.5) Bouquet: Very spicy briar with cedar, complementing concentrated blackberry fruit and excellent acidity with nuances of leather and black licorice. Also shows good tannic structure with black pepper. (3.5) Body: Coats the mouth with excellent acidity and significant tannin met by concentrated fruit. A light heavyweight with ageworthy structure, but balanced enough to not appear painfully young. (3.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet with tannin and cedar a little more prevalent, but still gives a delicious wall of fruit and game flavors. (3.0) Finish: Parallels flavor, but more tannic and a little bitterness, but nothing the fruit can't handle. (3.0)
Overall: This is a serious wine that shows the same strong DCV spice character of other vintages, but this one has a bit more Syrah character than usual. It is still Syrah in a classy package (more Cote Rotie than Cornas, if you will) and strikes me as the best vintage of this wine that I've tasted. It has ageworthy structure that warrants 5-10 years of bottle age, but its balance and solid blackberry fruit enable immediate enjoyment if you decant for 2-3 hours. (16.0)