71% Zinfandel, 22% Petite Sirah, 7% Carignane
94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Dry Creek Valley
Appealing briar/bramble aromas. Clay, earth, mineral, sweet toasty oak, crushed pepper. Rich tannins, solid structure; Intense blackberry fruit, exotic spice. Long, complex finish. Classic Lytton Springs.
After a dry winter and spring, budbreak came early. Despite the lack of spring rain, temperate summer weather mitigated vine stress and created ideal ripening conditions. At veraison, we dropped a quarter of the young zinfandel. A warm August ripened the fruit earlier than expected, and we harvested the thirty-four parcels as flavors developed fully, fermenting each separately on its natural yeasts. Color and tannin extracted easily, reducing maceration time to seven days, on average. After malolactic, we chose twenty-one lots for this year’s wine. Aged for fifteen months in air-dried american oak, this classic Lytton Springs is remarkable for its richness, balance, and elegant texture. It will soften and gain complexity over the next ten years.
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.
Rainfall: Thirty-five inches (below average)
Weather: Dry spring and warm, dry summer, with no sustained heat spells.
Harvest Dates: 26 August – 6 September
Grapes: Average Brix 26.3
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Pressed at nine days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (21% new; 48% one, two and three years old; 31% four and five years old).
Time in Barrel: Fifteen months
Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine: 92 Points – “No surprises here. The wine has retained its berryish, brambly, spicy aromas, has plenty of volume and barely shows its age in its slight drift towards cedary complexity. Along the way, it is somewhat round and polished but has not lost that zesty, concentrated goodness that has made Lytton Springs Zins cellaring favorites of ours for several decades. If you have some in your cellar, know that it will drink wonderfully now, yet it seems sure to age for five years or more from here. ” (May 2017)
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar “Deep ruby. Heavily oak-influenced at the outset, showing candied dark berries, cherry-cola, bourbon and vanilla scents, along with notes of clove and incense. Extended aeration helps to dissipate the oak notes and allows sweet raspberry and blueberry fruit to emerge on the palate. Soft tannins add support but quickly fade into the sweet, velvety fruit on the finish. If you plan on opening this any time soon, give it a few hours in a decanter.” -Josh Raynolds (90+ points) (November-December 2009)
Vinous Media: 94 Points “The 2007 Lytton Springs is just as impressive as the 2007 Geyserville in this tasting. Ample and creamy, with tremendous resonance, the Lytton Springs screams with Zinfandel character. Sweet floral notes and pulsating acids perk up the flavors beautifully. This is such a delicious and joyous wine. Readers lucky enough to own it are in for a real treat.” – Antonio Galloni (October 2019)
Wine Advocate: 92 Points “The 2007 Lytton Springs Proprietary Red (71% Zinfandel, 22% Petite Sirah, and 7% Carignan; 14.4% alcohol) exhibits a similar dark ruby/purple hue as well as more black fruits and spice in the impressive aromatics. It is a fuller-bodied, richer wine with beautiful texture, purity, and length. Enjoy it over the next 7-10 years.” -Robert Parker (Issue 187, 27 Feb 2010):
Wine & Spirits: 91 Points – Year’s Best Zinfandels – “This starts with the sweet richness of Dry Creek zin, with plush, candied red fruit that turns savory as tannins darken the wine into the finish. It ends with lovely briskness, a fine balance between the fruit sweetness and the tannin. With age, the earthy complexities of the wine should evolve.” (February 2010)
Connoisseurs’ Guide: 91 Points “Ripe enough to push its berryish fruit in the direction of high concentration, this wine pulls back from the brink with layered notes of pepper and slightly toasty, never pushy oak. Its solid yet quietly brawny side shows in latter palate tannins and firming acidity, and what starts out as a generous wine in the nose, turns tighter and quite age-demanding in the mouth. Do not be afraid to put this one aside for three to six years.” (January 2010)
Average Rating: 90.2
No. of Tasting Notes: 451
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