Ridge 2011 Lytton Springs®
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
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
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.
Yields: 1.5 to 3.0 tons per acre
Rainfall: 40 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Wet spring and a typical cool summer with no sustained heat spells
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
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.
60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)
3L double magnum
SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)
Lytton Springs® is a registered trademark of Ridge Vineyards, Inc. in the US and
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+)
review online at VinousMedia.com (may require subscription)
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 RhÃ´ne varieties from very old vines
in Sonomaâ€™s Dry Creek Valley. Marked by olive, spice and dark fruit, itâ€™s a subtle take
on Zinfandel and a wine that historically has aged very well." -Lettie
the full article online at WSJ.com (may require subscription)
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)