69% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 11% Carignane, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre)
94+ Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
91+ Points – Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate
Dry Creek Valley
Deep purple color. Appealing aromas of black pepper, cassis, and licorice. Layered plum, blackberry fruit on the palate; medium/full-bodied, with silky tannins. Notes of chapparal and mocha on the finish. JO (3/16)
April rains disrupted flowering and reduced yields, but gave the vines enough water to survive a third year of drought. Mild temperatures in August proved ideal for ripening. The thirty-four parcels were fermented separately; we combined the twenty-five that best expressed the vineyard’s distinctive character. Thirteen months in barrel has softened tannins and added complexity. Enjoyable in its youth, this fine wine will evolve over the next ten years. JO (9/15)
In 1972, Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from vines planted on the eastern half of the vineyard at the turn of the century. Both the eastern and western portions of the vineyard were purchased in the early 1990s, (In the 1870s, under “Captain” William Litton’s ownership, the two were part of one property; spelling evolved to “Lytton” by 1903.) The vineyard is planted to zinfandel and its principal complementary varietals.
Rainfall: 18 inches (½ of normal)
Bloom: Mid-May, with veraison by mid-August.
Weather: Very dry and cold December and January; most of the rain fell February through April. Cool spring and early summer delayed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 27 August – 16 September
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 and five years old).
Aging: Thirteen 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; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 parts per million at crush, 115 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.
The International Wine Report (October 2016): 93 Points. – “Sourced from the Dry Creek Valley, this wine is a blend of 69% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 11% Carignane, and 2% Mataro (Mourvedre). As this wine begins to open it releases aromatics of dried raisin, black plums, red cherries with a spicy, nutmeg component at the back end. There are beautifully concentrated flavors of black tea, sage, black cherry, eucalyptus and hints of cranberry that sit alongside some gritty tannins. This needs another year to soften but shows some wonderful potential at this juncture. (Best 2017-2028) – ” -(OB)
The Wine Advocate (October 2016): 91+ Points. – “More fresh and elegant than the Geyserville, with a touch more focus, the 2014 Lytton Springs is another beautiful wine from this estate. Made from 69% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah and the rest Carignan and Mourvèdre, aged in 20% new American oak, it boasts fabulous notes of plums, blackberry jam, toasted spice and licorice as well as medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate depth and notable tannin. The Geyserville is a touch sexier, but this will be longer lived. Give bottles 2-3 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following decade or more.” -Jeb Dunnuck
California Grapevine, (September 2016): 91 Points – “Medium-dark ruby; attractive, spicy, briary, ripe, plummy, red and black berry fruit aroma with hints of vanilla and green olive; full body; rich, ripe, spicy, textured, black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with good depth and structure; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very approachable and easy to drink now, though deserving a few more years of bottle aging.” Very highly recommended. 14.3% alcohol; 11,500 cases; a blend of 69% Zinfandel, 18% PS, 11% Carignane, and 2% Mataro; released September 2016. (Group Score: 16.3, 1/0/0; My Score: 17 [90/100], ninth place)
Vinous Media (July 2016): 94+ Points. “The 2014 Lytton Springs is another absolutely gorgeous wine. Perhaps because of its relatively recent bottling, the 2014 feels a bit compressed, but there appears to be plenty of complexity and depth hiding behind the acidity and tannin. Far from an easygoing Zinfandel, the 2014 Lytton is a wine to buy and cellar for at least a handful of years. The wine’s richness, persistence and vertical intensity all lead me to believe it will be special in time. Black cherry, pomegranate, mint and sweet spices meld into the resonant finish. A kick of tannin from the Petite adds personality, something the 2014 has in spades.” -Antonio Galloni
Average Rating: 91.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 274
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