75% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
Each year, having separately harvested and fermented the various parcels planted at Lytton Springs, we select the wines that best represent the vineyard’s character, and best complement each other in blind tastings. Occasionally one of these, though outstanding alone, does not integrate well with the rest. In 2010, this was the case with several small blocks on Lytton East, where most of the vines are over one hundred years of age. The high proportion of petite sirah, coupled with bright acidity typical of the vintage, yielded wines of immense structure. Fermented on natural yeasts, the wine aged for thirteen months in air-dried american oak. This full-bodied Lytton Estate will soften and evolve over the next ten years.
In 1972, Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from vines planted at the turn of the 19th century. We 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). Each year, we harvest and ferment separately the approximately 30 parcels that make up the Lytton springs Vineyard. In some vintages, during blending we hold out certain blocks that, due to ripeness or structure, show better on their own. We combine these to make the Lytton Estate.
Rainfall: Forty-two inches (above average)
Weather: Cool, late spring; cold summer; two very hot days in August (24 & 25) damaged fruit, reducing yields by 50%.
Harvest: 8 – 29 September
Grapes: Average brix 26.2˚
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary. Pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (35% new and one year old, 40% two to three years old, and 25% four to five years old).
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel
All estate-grown, hand harvested grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts; followed by full malolactic on naturally-occurring bacteria; a total of 1.4 % rehydration during fermentation; minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 126 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.
Average Rating: 90.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 72
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