74% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignane, 2% Mataro
94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
94 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
Dry Creek Valley
Nose of plum, blackberry and licorice. Plentiful raspberry fruit on entry with notes of pepper sage, well coated tannins and long layered finish. JO (7/19)
A season of extreme weather began with heavy winter rains that replenished the water table. The vines rebounded with a full crop but record high temperatures in July and August reduced yields, especially in the petite sirah. This concentrated flavor and color and after 14 months in barrel the wine is exceptionally rich and complex. It will develop more fully 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: 61.5 inches (above normal)
Weather: A wet winter gave us much needed rain. Cool weather in the spring affected set across all varieties. Several heat spikes in late June, July and August saw temperatures over 105 degrees. Harvest started before the Labor Day heat wave hit; we quickly finished harvesting by late September.
Harvest Dates: 29 August – 26 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.6˚
Fermentation: Full crush; 100% Natural primary and secondary; pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (10% new; 20% two years old; 30% three years old, 20% four years old and 20% 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; a total of 0.25 grams/liter tartaric acid; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 parts per million at crush, 88 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: 94 Points “Ridge’s 2017 Lytton Springs opens up beautifully, with bright acids that drive a whole range of red/purplish fruit intermingled with floral notes. Creamy and ample in feel, the 2017 boasts superb balance and pedigree. Readers lucky enough to owe it should plan on cellaring it for at least a few years.” – Antonio Galloni (October 2019)
JamesSuckling.com: 94 Points “This blend of 74% zinfandel, 15% petite sirah, 9% carignane and 2% mataro has that signature Ridge freshness and definition with such reliable focus on fruit. Aromas of dried plums, dry roasted spices, red flowers and leaves lead to a palate that has such succulent, rich red berries and plums. So lively and attractive. Drink or hold.” – James Suckling (December 2019)
Zinfandel Chronicles: 92 Points “Ripe nose of brambly black fruits, spiced plums and loamy earth. Full bodied with medium acidity. Elegant, Claret style Zinfandel. Black cherry, blackberry, iron and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. The consensus is that Lytton Springs needs time in the cellar but I think this will show best over the next 3-5 years.” – Tom Lee (September 2019)
The Wine Advocate: 91 Points “Medium ruby-purple, it opens with dried flowers, autumn leaves and cinnamon stick notions over a core of crushed red cherries, dried cranberries, apricot, underbrush, red currant and black cherries with a super spicy undercurrent. The palate is medium-bodied, spicy and fresh with a grainy frame and juicy freshness, finishing long and lifted.” – Erin Brooks (February 2020)
JebDunnuck.com: 90 Points “A blend of 74% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, and the rest Carignan, it offers a plummy, spice-filled effort that has medium-bodied richness, a bright spine of acidity, a sappy floral character, and a balanced, clean finish. Drink it over the coming decade.” – Jeb Dunnuck (November 2019)
California Grapevine: 90 Points “Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, deep, rich, ripe, briary, spicy, blue and black berry fruit aroma with hints of dill, cigar box, and black pepper; full body; rich, fleshy, dark berry fruit flavors with good acid balance, hints of chocolate and cracked pepper, oaky undertones, and slightly drying on the finish; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Enjoyable now or over the next year or two. Very highly recommended.” – Nick Ponomareff (October 2019)
Average Rating: 91.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 44
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