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 ’09 Lytton Springs in a blend of 71% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah and 6% Carignane.
Crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. Awesome nose of brambly black fruits, plums and white pepper. Medium to full bodied with mouth watering acidity. Rich, plush, mouth coating fruit. Blackberry compote, raspberry liqueur, vanilla bean and baking spices on the palate. The finish is long and supple with silky tannins. Absolutely delicious Zinfandel. Drink over the next 2-4 years.
My rating: 93 points.
Current vintages of the Ridge Lytton Springs including the 2012 and 2013 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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