74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mataró (mourvèdre)
Dry Creek Valley
Nose of ripe blackberry, pepper, licorice and a hint of vanilla. Concentrated plum and black cherry fruit on the palate with supple tannins, minerality and balanced acidity. Long, layered finish with notes of ripe fig and dried herbs. JO (11/14)
An early spring and warm summer assured full ripeness, and we began picking on September 5. Natural yeast fermentations began by day two and finished on day eight. The zinfandel is among the most expressive in years; inclusion of a hillside block of petite sirah adds color and structure. In barrel, tannins have softened and integrated. This classic zinfandel will be most enjoyable 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: 24.5-30 inches (below average)
Bloom: Early to mid-May
Weather: Warm spring and early summer followed by cooler weather that slowed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 5 September – 14 October
Grapes: Average Brix 24.7
Fermentation: Petite Sirah was whole berry fermented, all others full crush. 100% Natural primary and secondary; pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new; 60% one, two and three years old; 20% four years old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel
Hand harvested, sustainably grown, estate grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.5 grams/liter tartaric acid; 0.84% water addition; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 parts per million at crush, 188 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.
Ingredients: Hand harvested estate grapes; indigenous yeasts; naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; 0.84% water addition; tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; SO2.
Wine Spectator (Web Only – 2016): 91 Points. “Refreshingly old-school in style, with floral dill and raspberry aromas and elegant, layered flavors of cherry, anise and pepper. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carginane and Mataro. Drink now through 2026. 12,481 cases made. ” – Tim Fish
California Grapevine (Vol. 41, October 2015): 90 Points “Medium-dark ruby; attractive, spicy, briary, red and black berry fruit aroma with a hint of vanilla; full body; rich, expansive, spicy, ripe berry fruit flavors with good depth and intensity; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Firmly structured and deserving a few more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended.” (Group Score: 16.3, 1/2/1; My Score: 17 [90/100], second place)
The Wine Advocate (October 2015): 92+ Points “A blend of 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan and 2% Mataro (Mourvèdre), the 2013 Lytton Springs is a sexy, plump and gorgeously rich effort that has lots of bramble, plums, violets and licorice on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, deep, rich and concentrated, it has a solid kick of tannin and will benefit from short term cellaring. 15-20 years of longevity isn’t out of the question here. This was a terrific set of wines from Ridge. The 2012 Bordeaux releases all have brilliant purity of fruit, with surprising freshness and focus. They’ll need short term cellaring to be approachable, especially the Monte Bello. The 2013s are similar in style to the 2012s, with tight, fresh profiles and solid tannic grip.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Vinous Media (July 2015): 95 Points. “The 2013 Lytton Springs has really come together over the last year, far exceeding my early expectations. Powerful and explosive in the glass, the 2013 boasts tons of inky blue/purplish fruit, mocha, spices, new leather, lavender and licorice. Readers will have to give the Lytton Springs at least a few years to shed some baby fat, but it is nearly impossible to resist, even at this early stage. Once again, the team at Ridge has produced an absolutely compelling Lytton Springs. The 16% Petite Sirah in the blend adds an unmistakable air of gravitas.” – Antonio Galloni
Read review online at VinousMedia.com (subscription required)
Average Rating: 91.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 345
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