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Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel Blend Dry Creek Valley 2015

External Review by WineExpress.com:

Lytton Springs is home to 100 plus-year-old zinfandel vines interplanted with Petite Sirah, Carignane, a small amount of Mataro (Mourvèdre), and Grenache. For more than three decades the field blend from this site has produced the quintessential example of Dry Creek Valley zinfandel. Lytton Springs is a prime example of Ridge's commitment to championing Heritage varietals - varietals planted more than a century ago, and surviving in numerous locations. They honor the individual character of these vines by fermenting each variety and each lot separately using natural yeast fermentation, letting the wines undergo natural malolactic, and employing minimal egg white fining. This 2015 vintage is 74% Zinfandel,16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane and 2% Mataro (Mourvedre) aged 14 months in American oak barrels. Connoisseurs Guide scored this 95 points saying "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."

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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

External Reviews for Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel Blend Dry Creek Valley

External Review
Source: WineExpress.com
09/20/2017

Lytton Springs is home to 100 plus-year-old zinfandel vines interplanted with Petite Sirah, Carignane, a small amount of Mataro (Mourvèdre), and Grenache. For more than three decades the field blend from this site has produced the quintessential example of Dry Creek Valley zinfandel. Lytton Springs is a prime example of Ridge's commitment to championing Heritage varietals - varietals planted more than a century ago, and surviving in numerous locations. They honor the individual character of these vines by fermenting each variety and each lot separately using natural yeast fermentation, letting the wines undergo natural malolactic, and employing minimal egg white fining. This 2015 vintage is 74% Zinfandel,16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane and 2% Mataro (Mourvedre) aged 14 months in American oak barrels. Connoisseurs Guide scored this 95 points saying "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."



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