Ridge 1999 Lytton Estate Syrah (Dry Creek Valley)

Editors' Choice

Intense, dark, described variously as a "brooding monster" and a "black beauty," this is full-blown Syrah from one of California's most respected wineries. Black currant, leather, espresso and chocolate evidence the deep fruit and lavish oak. ATP (Advance Tasting Program) was jokingly referred to as "assault the palate" by one taster. No one mistook this for an easy drinker, with its dense color, feel and hefty alcoholic punch. Not for sipping, and will benefit from three or four years aging.

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