2018 Ritual

2018 Ritual will delight fans of this wine, which we have been making since 2007 as an homage to the pioneering, immigrant families who introduced these grapes to Napa Valley. The blend this year is 33% Grenache, 33% old vine Carignane, 25% Syrah and 9% old vine Petite Sirah. The fruit-forward character of the year has brought tons of high-toned fruit and spice aromatics of strawberry jam, raspberry coulis, five-spice, a dusting of white pepper, underbrush and sage to the glass. On the palate, the classic up valley richness and depth is there, with a lot power in reserve, but on a gorgeously juicy frame. Flavors of blackberry, oolong tea and damson plum abound and play off one another on the long, silky finish. Aged in mostly neutral French oak barrels for 19 months before bottling unfiltered.

  • 33% Grenache, 33% old vine Carignane, 25% Syrah and 9% old vine Petite Sirah
  • 100% Napa Valley AVA Rhone Blend
  • 1901 Carignane vines and 1939 Petite Sirah from Alfred Frediani Vineyard
  • Syrah from Cortese Vineyard in Coombsville
  • Grenache from dry-farmed vines at Frediani Vineyard
  • Aged in neutral French oak barrels for 19 months
  • A tribute to heritage varieties and pre-prohibition Napa Valley
  • Unfined and unfiltered
  • 12 barrels produced 297 cases
Composed of 33% Grenache, 33% Carignane, 25% Syrah and 9% Petite Sirah, the 2018 Ritual Heritage Blend is deep garnet-purple in color, giving up floral notes of dried roses and lilacs over a core of ripe blackberries, plum preserves, fruitcake and smoked meats plus a waft of tilled soil. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, it has a firm, grainy texture supporting the generous black fruit flavors and a long, uplifting finish.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The Wine Advocate
November 5, 2020