A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2017 Ritual

The 11th vintage of this bottling was a storied one for sure: historic heat in early September produced a bottling that is notably tiny, as well as incredibly complex and dense. All of these grapes were picked before the October fires. The old vines at Alfred Frediani held up extremely well to the September heat, while the cooler reaches of Napa, where the Scarpa Syrah was grown, produced uncommonly rich textures. Tiny yields were the norm for the year, and this wine is no exception. Vibrant aromatics of boisenberry, blueberry, orange peel, cracked pepper, lavender and blond tobacco jump from the glass, leading to a dense, but elegantly framed palate with flavors that are intense and buffered by layers of dense fruit. The finish showcases extremely fine tannins, lending shape and length.

  • 37% Grenache, 27% Carignane, 27% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah
  • 100% Napa Valley AVA Rhone Blend
  • 1901 Carignane vines and 1939 Petite Sirah from Alfred Frediani Vineyard
  • Throwback to pre-prohibition Napa Valley
  • Unfined and unfiltered
  • Only 257 cases produced from 6 barrels and two 500 liter puncheons

A blend of 37% Grenache, 27% Carignane, 27% Syrah, and the rest Petite Sirah, the 2017 Ritual has loads of berry fruits, orange blossom, violets, and spicy notes as well as a medium to full-bodied, rounded, nicely textured style. It's a straight-up delicious, balanced blend that will drink well for 5-7 years.
Jeb Dunnuck
January 2020
Combines suppleness with a core of simmering power, offering elegant tiers of raspberry, grilled garrigue and spiced smoke beef that build toward medium-grained tannins. Grenache, Carignane, Syrah and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2027.
Tim Fish
Wine Spectator Online
March 3, 2020