Ridge 2009 Lytton SpringsÂ®
2009 Lytton Springs Vineyard, bottled February 2011
74% zinfandel, 23% petite sirah, 6% carignane
14.5% alcohol by volume
Winemaker John Olney's notes (back label text)
Despite welcome late-spring rains, the growing season got off to an early start
in 2009. Significant heat throughout July ripened the grapes for harvest in early
September. The vineyard's thirty-four parcels were picked separately, fermented
on their natural yeasts, and were pressed at dryness. In blind tastings following
natural malolactic, we chose twenty-three of the lots to exemplify the vintage.
The proportion of new oak was reduced slightly, to allow full expression of the
wine's fruit and inherent elegance. Enjoyable upon release, this opulent though
structured Lytton Springs will evolve over the next ten to fifteen years. JO (11/10)
Tasting Notes - Ripe black cherry/raspberry nose, with notes of pepper, licorice,
chaparral, and tobacco. Rich black fruit on the palate. Full, viscous. Well-coated
tannins and a long, layered finish. (8/11)
In 1972, Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from vines planted on the eastern half
of the vineyard at the turn of the century, and purchased both the eastern and western
portions of the vineyard in the early 1990s, (In the 1870s, under "Captain" William
Litton's ownership, the two were part of one property; spelling evolved into "Lytton"
by 1903.) The vineyard is planted to zinfandel and its principal complementary varietals.
First RIDGE Lytton Springs: 1972
Location: The bench and hills separating Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys,
just north of Healdsburg, Sonoma County.
Elevation: 80' - 160'
Soils: Varied, with a predominance of gravelly clay; gravelly clay loam on
Vines: Lytton East: Zinfandel, petite sirah, grenache & carignane planted
1901 (32 acres) and 1910 (11 acres); Zinfandel & petite sirah, planted 1997-8
Lytton West: Zinfandel, petite sirah, carignane, grenache re-planted 1953-1968 (26
acres); zinfandel & petite sirah, planted 1980's (2.5 acres); Zinfandel &
petite sirah planted in 1990's (42.8 acres); Zinfandel, some petite sirah, some
carigane, one block vineyard blend in 2000's (60 acres).
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned.
Climate: Fog in a.m., warm sunny afternoons, breezes in late p.m.
Yields: 1.5 to 3.0 tons per acre
Rainfall: Thirty-four inches (below average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Dry winter saved by spring rains and a warm, dry summer.
Harvest Dates: 11 September - 4 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.4Â°
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (18% new; 57% one, two and three
years; 25% four years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
All estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the
native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria.
1.5 grams/liter tartaric acid and a total of two and a half percent rehydration
(added to seven particularly ripe parcels) during fermentation; minimum effective
sulfur (35 parts per million at crush, 177 ppm over the course of aging); fresh
egg white fining to moderate tannins. Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with
our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.