84% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
Each year, after harvesting and fermenting the thirty-four blocks that make up the Lytton Estate vineyard, we blind taste the lots to determine which are most characteristic of the site. These wines are then assembled for the Lytton Springs. (The less intense wines become a part of our Three Valleys.) Occasionally, as in 2006, we hold out riper wines of excellent quality, because their inclusion would change the style of the Lytton Springs. Instead, we make a limited amount of Lytton Estate. The wine fermented on naturally occurring yeasts and aged for fifteen months in air-dried american oak. This well-structured, full-bodied zinfandel exhibits the briary black fruit
and mineral notes typical of the vineyard. More elegant than the 2003, the 2006 will benefit from two to three years of bottle age and be most enjoyable over the next five to seven.
In 1972, Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from vines planted here 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.) Occasionally, as in 2006, certain of the vineyard blocks may be of top quality but we choose to hold them out of the Lytton Springs because their inclusion would add too much ripeness, or, in this case, tannin. Instead, we combine these wines to make the Lytton Estate. The wine is fermented using only naturally occurring yeast, and is aged in air-dried american oak.
Rainfall: Fifty-five inches (normal)
Weather: Wet spring and warm, dry summer with rain at the end of harvest.
Harvest: 22 – 26 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.0˚
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 20% one year old, 15% two years old, 45% three to five years old)
Aging: Fifteen months in barrel
Average Rating: 88.5
No. of Tasting Notes: 66
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