Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The March Zinfandel of the Month is the 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs.
Ridge Vineyards was founded in 1959 when three Stanford Research Institute engineers bought an abandoned winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vineyards had been planted in the late 19th century by a San Francisco physician who produced his first vintage in the original winery, called Monte Bello, in 1892. The first Ridge vintage was in 1962. Since 1969 Ridge’s winemaker, and now also its CEO, has been Paul Draper. Ridge makes Cabernet, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Rhone style wines.
When I first became interested in Zinfandel the buzz was always around the Three R’s of Zinfandel: Ravenswood, Rosenblum and Ridge. 25 years later Ridge is still at the top of its game, turning out single vineyard Zinfandel from some of California’s most precious vineyards.
Lytton Springs Vineyard dates back to the early 1900’s and is located in the Dry Creek Valley. The ’11 Lytton Springs in a blend of 81% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah and 2% Carignane.
Served without decanting. Shimmering red in color. 14.4% ABV. Brambly red fruits, flowers and minerals on the nose. Medium body with strong acidity. Raspberries, boysenberries, pepper and licorice on the palate. Supremely elegant Zinfandel. Subtle tannins show on a polished finish. Drink over the next 3-5 years.
My rating: 91 points.
Current vintages of the Ridge Lytton Springs including the 2011 and 2012 can be found at retail and will cost right around $35. This is a wine that I buy year in and year out.
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