74% Zinfandel,16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre)
95 Points – Connoiseurs’ Guide to California Wine
94+ Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
92 Points – Wine Spectator
92 Points – Decanter Magazine
Dry Creek Valley
Jammy raspberry fruit with pepper, mint and sweet toasted oak. Brambly fruit on the palate, sensuous, well defined tannins and balanced acidity. JO (3/17)
Rain during the first week of April, though welcome, disrupted flowering reducing yields. The fruit ripened quickly in the warm summer weather. Harvest began August 17, the earliest ever. We managed extraction of color and tannin by limiting pump-overs to once daily. After malolactic, we chose twenty-four of the thirty three separate fermentations for their concentrated fruit and elegant structure. This excellent vintage is appealing now and will improve 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. 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: 33.2 inches (just below normal)
Weather: Very wet December, followed by the driest January on record (0.05”). Cool, wet, late spring helped with rainfall totals, but reduced our crop across all varieties. Harvest started early (mid-August) and finished quickly.
Harvest Dates: 17 August – 15 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.4˚
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 (15% new; 45% one, two and three years old; 40% four and five 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; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 parts per million at crush, 88 ppm over the course of aging); 0.6% water addition; .002 g/L tartaric acid; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wine (September 2017): 95 Points – “Petite Sirah’s expressive personality contributes both spicy and strong structural elements to the dominant Zinfandel portion here, and it all adds up to a young, highly promising bottling with well-concentrated, fully fruited aromas and flavors. Indeed, there is so much to like that, despite its tannic load, this boldly stated wine will drink very nicely now with savory beef or lamb roasts, yet its true brilliance lies some years in the future, and we will happily lay some away for five to ten years in the full expectation that both range and sophistication will grow and grow. ”
Vinous Media (August 2017): 94+ Points. “The 2015 Lytton Springs is very, very closed. Readers should not think about opening a bottle anytime soon. Intensely aromatic, but also tightly wound, the 2015 only hints at its true potential. Deceptively medium in body, the 2015 packs a real punch.” – Antonio Galloni
JebDunnuck.com (June 2018): 93 Points. “…the 2015 Zinfandel Lytton Springs has a deep purple color as well as a sensational perfume of black cherries, blackberries, ground herbs, leather, and earth. More reserved and elegant than the Pagani Ranch, yet beautifully concentrated, seamless, and perfectly balanced, it opens up nicely with time in the glass, has sweet tannin, and a great finish. It’s a complete wine that’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and drink well for over a decade.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Decanter Magazine (March 2018): 92 Points. “A true field blend, with 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan and 2% Mourvedre, this is one of California’s most consistent Zins. It has a sumptuous cherry nose. On the palate it is rich and explosive, with zest and drive. Textured and grippy, but shows no sign of being over-extracted.” – Stephen Brook
Wine Spectator (November 8, 2017) – 92 Points, Briary and subtly potent, with floral black raspberry and licorice aromas and zesty, well-built dark cherry, smoky anise and pepper flavors that finish with ripe tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mourvèdre. Best from 2019 through 2024.—T.F.
The Fine Wine Review (Fall, 2017) – 91 Points “Like its Geyserville counterpart, Ridge now makes its Lytton Springs as a blend that does not qualify for any grape type identification. In this instance, the wine is 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, and 2% Mataro aka Mourvedre. This wine has 14.5% stated alcohol (with 0.6% water added, and also tartaric acid) and doesn’t show any overripeness or other later harvest objectionable qualities. The fruit is a mixture of dark and red with berry spiciness, and the texture is creamy. There’s an elegance for a Zinfandel-based wine here, but I’d still stick to fairly pronounced foods — strong cheeses, grilled meats, tomato sauces, and the like. The wine drinks well now, and the winemaker’s notes indicate that it should improve over the next ten years.”
California Grapevine (October 2017): “Medium-dark ruby; attractive, ripe, briary, slightly jammy, red and black berry fruit aroma with herbal notes and hints of vanilla and black peppercorn; full body; rich, ripe, briary, black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with good depth and acid balance; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Appealing to drink now, though also worthy of further bottle aging. Very highly recommended.” (Group Score: 16.3, 1/0/0; My Score: 17 ]90/100], eighth place)
Average Rating: 90.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 75
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