79% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane
97 Points – Jim Gordon, Wine Enthusiast
95 Points – Karen MacNeil, Decanter
95 Points – Tom Lee, Zinfandel Chronicles
93 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
93 Points – Wine & Spirits
93 Points – Owen Bargreen, OwenBargreen.com
Dry Creek Valley
Rich blackberry and plum on the nose with notes of aniseed. Full-bodied with dark bramble fruit and well-coated tannins on the palate. The long finish reveals layers of black licorice and dried sage. MB (4/22)
Plentiful rain in early November and December subsided by January. Late spring rains during flowering reduced fruit set across all varieties, especially petite sirah. Thirty-eight blocks were picked at ideal ripeness over four weeks from August to September. Of these, twenty-six were selected for their rich black fruit and perfectly balanced structure. This classic Lytton Springs will be enjoyable over the next ten years. JO (11/21)
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; the spelling evolved to “Lytton” by 1903.) The vineyard is planted to zinfandel and its principal complementary varieties.
Rainfall: 21 inches (below normal)
Weather: Rains in March and April helped the vines get through the summer.
Harvest Dates: 21 August – 17 September
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1˚
TA: 5.97 g/L
Fermentation: Full crush; 100% natural primary and secondary.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (15% new, 15% one year-old, 20% two years-old, 20% three years-old, 15% four years-old, and 15% 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 ppm at crush, 72 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.
Wine Enthusiast: 97 Points “This seamless, polished but also firm and well-structured wine achieves power with grace. Wonderful black fig, black olive and plump blackberry flavors ride a full body backed by good, well-integrated tannins. This classic from Ridge’s Sonoma County property consists of 79% Zinfandel plus 11% Petite Sirah and 10% Carignan. Best from 2025–2040.” -Jim Gordon (January 2023)
Decanter: 95 Points “Very juicy and chewy with mulberry and mocha notes. Paul Draper’s love of old California field blends and his belief that Petite Sirah and Carignane (which Ridge spells in the old California manner with an ‘e’ at the end) add a complementary intrigue to Zinfandel are at work in the Lytton Springs. Accordingly, the wine is not labelled Zinfandel even though at 79% Zin, it could be. The 10% Carignane adds an earthy, sensual, south-of-France character to the flavour. The Petite Sirah – which is never petite in California – adds power and a wallop of tannin. A very distinct wine, mostly from old vines, some of which date back to 1901. Ridge, which has been making Lytton since 1972, bought the vineyard in the early 1990s.” -Karen MacNeil (November 2022)
Zinfandel Chronicles: 95 Points “Show-stopping nose of red and black fruits, peach and baking spices. Medium to full bodied with perfect acidity. Tremendous mouth feel and texture. Black cherry, black raspberry, cocoa and pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Just an awesome Lytton Springs in spite of the vintages challenges. Best over the next 8-10 years.” -Tom Lee (August 2022)
Wilfred Wong: 94 Points “Evocative aromas of boysenberries and savory spices; loads of berries and a hint of wood in the flavors, tantalizing finish.” (September 2022)
Vinous Media: 93 Points “The 2020 Lytton Springs is a very pretty wine. Bright floral and spice accents open first. Silky and medium in body, with plenty of persistence and fine balance, the 2020 is pretty impressive, especially for the year. Zinfandel character really drives the feel in 2020. A burst of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, cinnamon and dried herbs lingers on the open-knit, intensely perfumed finish.” -Antonio Galloni (October 2022)
Wine & Spirits: 93 Points “At a recent celebration of Ridge’s 60th Anniversary, John Olney mentioned that the mixed vineyard at Lytton Springs has the oldest pinot noir vines in California, among many other varieties, many of them centenarian zinfandel vines along with petite sirah, carignane, mataro and grenache. The mix brings bass notes and dynamic energy to this classical California red. The red-currant and cranberry fruit has a healthy feel to its richness, lasting with restraint and elegance.” -J.G. (November 2022)
OwenBargreen.com: 93 Points “The outstanding 2020 Ridge Vineyards ‘Lytton Springs’ Red Wine is a blend of 79% Zinfandel with 11% Petite Sirah and 10% Carignane. The beautiful red florals on the nose with potpourri, white pepper and ripe red fruits that mingle with shades of smoked brisket. The palate is plush and soft with a seamless mouthfeel and very lengthy finish. This has both the stuffing and finesse to cellar well for at least another decade.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2022)
Average Rating: 90.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 16
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