82% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane
Dry Creek Valley
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.
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)
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: 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
Ingredients: Sustainably grown grapes; indigenous yeasts; naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; tartaric acid; SO2.
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.
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+)
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 Rhone 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
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)
Average Rating: 90.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 354
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