Ridge 2011 Lytton Springs®

2011 Lytton Springs bottle shot

2011 Lytton Springs Vineyard, bottled February 2013
82% zinfandel, 16% petite sirah, 2% carignane
Dry Creek Valley AVA
14.4% alcohol by volume

Winemaker John Olney's notes (back label text) - Summer temperatures were again well below normal, slowing ripening. Unlike 2010, there was no late-season heat to boost sugar levels. Patience was called for. Picking began on September 20, three weeks later than usual. After natural primary and secondary fermentation, twenty-three parcels most typical of Lytton Springs were combined. Fine tannins, moderate ripeness, and bright, focused fruit are hallmarks of the vintage. This elegant zinfandel is enjoyable now, and has the structure to evolve over the next eight to ten years. JO (12/12)

Tasting Notes - Bramble, raspberry, cassis, toasted oak, and floral aromas; layered black cherry and currant, full bodied with well coated tannins and notes of licorice and black olive on the finish. JO (4/13)


Video Tasting Note

Presented by winemaker John Olney


History

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.

Vineyard

Lytton Springs map

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 hillsides.
Age of Vines: Lytton East: zinfandel, petite sirah, grenache and carignane planted 1901 (32 acres) and 1910 (11 acres); zinfandel and petite sirah, planted 1997-1998 (5 acres), Lytton West: zinfandel, petite sirah, carignane, grenache re-planted 1953-1968 (26 acres); zinfandel and petite sirah, planted 1980's (2.5 acres); zinfandel and petite sirah planted in 1990's (42.8 acres); zinfandel, limited petite sirah, limited carignane, 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.
Exposure: Southeasterly
Yields: 1.5 to 3.0 tons per acre



Aerial View - Lytton Estate East


View Larger Map

GPS coordinates: 38° 39' 24.38" N, 122° 52' 48.07" W
Note: Lytton Springs tasting room is at this location.



Growing Season

Lytton Springs soil

Rainfall: 40 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Wet spring and a typical cool summer with no sustained heat spells

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 20 September - 15 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.3°
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new; 70% one, two and three years old; 5% four years old).)
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel

Winemaking

All estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring bacteria. 0.1 grams/liter tartaric acid; minimum effective sulfur (35 parts per million at crush, 125 ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


Miscellaneous

Bottle UPC Packaged SRP Notes
750mL 744442901005 12x750mL $38 60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)
375mL half 744442900008 12x375mL $21  
1.5L magnum 744442902002 6x1.5L $79  
3L double magnum 744442903009 1x3L $187 individually boxed

SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
Lytton Springs® is a registered trademark of Ridge Vineyards, Inc. in the US and other countries.


Press

  • Vinous Media logo Vinous Media (July 2013): "The 2011 Lytton Springs has a wonderful burst immediacy to it, backed up by the structure of the year. This isn't the most nuanced Lytton Springs in recent memory. Despite its considerable appeal today, my sense is the 2011 needs a few more years in bottle for all of the elements to fully come together. The blend is 82% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah and 2% Carignane." -Antonio Galloni (Rated: 93+)
    Read review online at VinousMedia.com (may require subscription)
     
  • Wall Street Journal logo Wall Street Journal (5 December 2014): Zinfandel That Pairs Well With Food - "Ridge Vineyards and winemaker Paul Draper are equally famous for Zinfandel and Cabernet. This wine is 82% Zinfandel blended with Rhône varieties from very old vines in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. Marked by olive, spice and dark fruit, it’s a subtle take on Zinfandel and a wine that historically has aged very well." -Lettie Teague
    Read the full article online at WSJ.com (may require subscription)
     
  • California Grapevine California Grapevine (Vol. 39, November 2013): "Medium-dark purplish ruby color; attractive, spicy, brambly, black raspberry fruit aroma with hints of vanilla and cracked pepper; medium-full to full body; rich, textured, peppery, cedary, slightly jammy, red berry and black cherry fruit flavors with well integrated fruit and oak; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very enjoyable to taste now and also has the structure and acidity to support another five plus years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended."
    (Group Score: 16.5 of 20 points, 3 of 9 first-place votes/1 second/1 third; My Score: 17 (91/100), fourth place)