• RP: 93

    Robert Parker Score

    93

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Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2008

Winemaker's Notes:

93 points Connoisseurs' Guide: Ripe, but not overly so, and carefully crafted with a certain claret-like polish that is the Ridge signature, this year's Lytton Springs bottling is a deep, very well-focused wine that keys on varietal berries with complexing notes of dusty and dry spice lending a little more range than everyday Zinfandel gets. It is nicely balanced with a fine spine of tannins for grip but maintains its sense of finesse and composure right to the end, and, if not so astringent that it cannot be enjoyed now, it is built to get better for several years and will hold for many more. (Jan 2011)

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Ridge Vineyards:
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name... Read more
The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone (third person on bench wearing tall boots), a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge's production facility. At 2600', it is surrounded by the "upper vineyard." In the 1940s, William Short, a theologian, bought the abandoned winery and vineyard just below the Perrone property; he replanted several parcels to cabernet sauvignon in the late 1940s. From these vines — now the "middle vineyard"— new owners Dave Bennion and his three partners, all Stanford Research Institute engineers, made a quarter-barrel of "estate" cabernet. That Monte Bello Cabernet was among California's finest wines of the era. Its quality and distinctive character, and the wines produced from these same vines in 1960 and '61, convinced the partners to re-bond the winery in time for the 1962 vintage. The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres. Working on weekends, they made wines of regional character and unprecedented intensity. By 1968, production had increased to just under three thousand cases per year, and in 1969, Paul Draper joined the partnership. A Stanford graduate in philosophy—recently returned from setting up a winery in Chile's coast range—he was a practical winemaker, not an enologist. His knowledge of fine wines and traditional methods complemented the straightforward "hands off" approach pioneered at Ridge. Under his guidance the old Perrone winery (acquired the previous year) was restored, the finest vineyard lands leased or purchased, the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established. Cabernet and zinfandel account for most of the production; syrah, grenache, carignane, and petite sirah constitute a small percentage. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of chardonnay since 1962. Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century's experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit's distinctive character and richness into the wine. Read less

Member Reviews for Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

Add your review
Snooth User: EMark
8478046,129
3.50 5
02/12/2012

Deep dark purple int eh glass, although somewhat murky. Berry/woody on the nose--pretty much what you expect here. Multiple sensations on the palate. Initially, blackberryish fruit, but as the wine spreads through the mouth, here comes the tannin. Mild acid. Very pleasant aftertaste. This is my kind of big-mouthful Zinfandel, and I'm looking forward to having it with tonights grilled steak, but I'm also glad that I have more in the cellar. There are a lot of components that will harmonize better as the years go by. US$26.99 at Total Wine last summer.


Snooth User: JonDerry
6804463,181
3.50 5
10/05/2011

Enjoyed this at a Ridge tasting last weekend, and am already revisiting at home. Nose is pretty well shut upon opening, but some floral notes and red fruit do show. What really stands out is the vibrant and abundant acidity that coats the palate. Really nice medium bodied texture to this wine, with a good core of underlying red fruit. Green notes and spice become more prevalent on a good, persistent finish. Very well made, and balanced wine. As good or better than I remembered. 91-92 points.


Snooth User: Eric Guido
92549169,400
3.50 5
09/25/2011

On the nose, I found blackberry, sweet spice, whiffs of vanilla cream soda and powdered sugar. On the palate, it was rich yet balanced with juicy blackberry jam and nice structure. The finish is long as the fruit lingers on the palate for half a minute. I found myself on the ledge o scoring this 89 or 90, but in the end, I went with the former, because as good as this is, I felt it needed a little more complexity to break 90 points.


Snooth User: Onin24eagle
1012672596
4.00 5
07/04/2012

Excellent. 'Nuff said. Brought this to a family BBQ last night. Everyone wanted to know where they could get some. I don't have notes, I just know that out of 6 or 7 bottles of wine opened last night this one stole the show.


External Reviews for Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

Another Ridge classic, the deep ruby/purple-colored 1998 Litton Springs (14.3% alcohol; 77% zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 4% Matero, 2% Carignan and 1% Alicante) boasts a sweet nose of briery fruit intermixed with red and black currants, minerals, pepper and smoke. Medium to full-bodied, with dried Provenccedil;al herb characteristics that emerge with airing, this fleshy, beautifully pure, and stunningly proportioned Zinfandel can be drunk now as well as over the next 5ndash;6 years.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

The 2008 Lytton Springs Proprietary Red, a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah, and 5% Carignan, possesses a deep ruby/purple color and good acidity, and a more closed style than the Geyserville, with a firmer, more restrained overall personality. It should drink well for 7ndash;8 years.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

($30; 76% zinfandel, 17% petite sirah and 7% carignane; as with the 2001 Geyserville, this marks the 40th anniversary for this bottling) Saturated, bright ruby-red. Sappy aromas of maraschino cherry, blood orange and nut skin. Thick, creamy and sweet but bright, with a candied raspberry flavor lifted by a floral element. A pliant, layered wine, finishing with ripe tannins.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Bright ruby-red. Complex, deeply pitched aromas of sappy blackberry, dark chocolate, game, leather and earth. Very full and ripe in the mouth, but with a captivating sappy quality. Flavors of dark berries, violet and spice are lifted by a peppery nuance. In a distinctly sweeter style, and more harmonious than usual at this stage of its evolution. Big, deep and impressively structured; finishes with substantial but ripe tannins. A superb showing.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

Firm, focused and concentrated, with a classy array of black plum, black cherry, cola, coffee, chocolate, blackberry, vanilla, spice and herb flavors. The wine is silky smooth, ripe and luxuriously long on the finish.


External Review
Source: Premier Wine & Spirits
05/18/2011

A vineyard blend that included 16% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 4% Mataro and 1% Alicante Bouschet. Meaty, funky and ripe, with intense fruit, lots of earthy, barnyard accents, and a long, tannic finish. This is old style Zin, no holds barred, with full-throttle flavors for aficionados.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

A fine vintage for Lytton Springs, this shows off the intensity of the vineyardrsquo;s ancient vines. Itrsquo;s bright and bold, sappy and intense, a saturated black wine that grows increasingly fragrant as it takes on air. Enjoy now with brisket, or cellar for eight to ten years, when the complexity will be that much more apparent.


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93 points Connoisseurs' Guide: Ripe, but not overly so, and carefully crafted with a certain claret-like polish that is the Ridge signature, this year's Lytton Springs bottling is a deep, very well-focused wine that keys on varietal berries with complexing notes of dusty and dry spice lending a little more range than everyday Zinfandel gets. It is nicely balanced with a fine spine of tannins for grip but maintains its sense of finesse and composure right to the end, and, if not so astringent that it cannot be enjoyed now, it is built to get better for several years and will hold for many more. (Jan 2011)

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