69% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre)
95 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
94 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
94 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
92+ Points – William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
92 Points – Tim Fish, Wine Spectator
Dry Creek Valley
Complex aromas of vanilla, raspberry and black pepper. Full bodied with firm acidity, focused blackberry fruit and an elegant lingering finish. JO (7/18)
Welcome winter rains brought relief from the drought. Fine weather in May was ideal for flowering and fruit set; crop levels rebounded to near normal levels. Natural yeast fermen-tations were slow but steady. Plentiful color and tannin balanced the sumptuous dark fruit typical of Lytton Springs. Aging for fourteen months in tempered american oak adds a touch of spice. Appealing as a young wine, this exceptional vintage will mature 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: 38 inches (just below normal)
Weather: A wet December and January helped ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Fine weather in May rebounded our crop to near normal levels. Harvest started early (late-August) and finished in mid-September.
Harvest Dates: 29 August – 15 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.8˚
Fermentation: 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, 71 ppm over the course of aging); 0.3% water addition; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (Aug 2018): 95 Points “The 2016 Lytton Springs is a powerful, dense wine. Black cherry, plum, lavender, new leather, cloves, licorice and menthol flesh out. Deep, plush and richly textured, the 2016 Lytton Springs packs a real punch. The 23% Petite Sirah is felt in the wine’s darkness and overall gravitas. There is more than enough richness and structure to support many years of fine drinking. What a gorgeous wine this is.” – Antonio Galloni
JamesSuckling.com (Nov 2018): 94 Points “This blend of 69 per cent zinfandel, 23 per cent petite sirah, six per cent carignane and two per cent mataro has an x-factor attraction, in that all components are elevating each other to greater heights. The sum is more than the parts. Attractive red berries with blackberries, blackcurrants and red plums, too. This is assertively structured and will deliver best from 2022.” – James Suckling
JebDunnuck.com (February 2019): (94 Points). “Another winner is the 2016 Lytton Springs, a Zinfandel-dominated blend that includes 23% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignan, and 2% Mourvèdre. This medium to full-bodied effort has wonderful purity of fruit as well as slightly more density in its black and blue fruits, earth, and dried spices. With bright acidity and ripe tannins, it will be better with another year or three of bottle age and keep for 15-20.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Palate Press (Dec 2018): 94 Points “Lavendar and cassis aromas make up the nose. On the palate, cassis, plums, leather, tobacco, and a hint of eucalyptus make a complex and full-bodied palate, a wine that flows from layer to layer, getting better with each change. Tannins are firm and grippy, ready to wrap lovingly around local lamb chops. Highly Recommended.” – David Honig
The Wine Advocate (May 2018): 92+ Points “The 2016 Lytton Springs is also excellent, offering up aromas of crushed currants, plums, candied violets and baked clay. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, rich and youthfully chewy, with a crunchy core of fruit and fine-grained but firm structuring tannins.” – William Kelley
Wine Spectator (Oct 2018): 92 Points “Recalls the tasty red field blends of yore, showing briary cherry, grilled anise and cracked pepper flavors that finish with slightly rustic tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2025.” – T.F.
The Fine Wine Review (Dec 2018): 92 Points “Like the Pagani Ranch Zinfandel, this is one of the finest Lytton Springs releases I can recall in recent years. The wine is balanced with spicy dark fruits and medium weight. The tannins are round, and the wine shows the balance to permit drinking now and over the next 10-15 years.” – Claude Kolm
Wine & Spirits (May 2019): 91 Points “Fleshy and rich, this classic blend of mixed blacks offers a lot of flavor volume within a lean frame. It’s most zinfandel(69 percent), along with petite sirah, carignane and mataro in the blend. Bright red fruit bursts out of its dark, savory structure, feeling both austere and dense as a young wine. This is concentrated, fresh and built to age” – J.G.
California Grapevine (Oct 2018): 90 Points “Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, spicy, blue and black berry fruit aroma with hints of vanilla, cigar box, and black peppercorn; full body; moderately rich, dark berry fruit flavors with briary notes, undertones of toasty oak; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. A bit hard and tight on the finish, though has the balance and structure to support further bottle aging which should be beneficial. Very highly recommended.” – Nick Ponomareff
Average Rating: 90.6
No. of Tasting Notes: 90
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