Ridge Lytton Springs 2018  Front Label
Ridge Lytton Springs 2018  Front LabelRidge Lytton Springs 2018 Front Bottle Shot

Ridge Lytton Springs 2018

  • WW96
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750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.3 47 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blackberry, pepper and licirioce notes on the nose. Full-bodies with ripe plum, well integrated tannins and long, lingering finish.

Blend: 72% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mataro

Critical Acclaim

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WW 96
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: The Ridge Lytton Springs, formerly called Lytton Springs Zinfandel, was one of the first wines that propelled me into becoming an extreme wine researcher. I tasted the 1972 vintage at The Wine & Cheese Shop on Union Street in San Francisco. For weeks after that initial tasting, the aromas and flavors stayed memorable. I still recalled that moment as I savored the 2018 vintage, which has now eclipsed that moment in the mid-1970s. TASTING NOTES: This wine is nothing short of remarkable. Its aromas and flavors of ripe raspberries scream, "Dry Creek Valley." Enjoy it with a mildly-spiced, oven-roasted Porchetta. (Tasted: September 17, 2020, San Francisco, CA)
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Lytton Springs is a blend of 72% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane and 2% Mataro. The nose is lush and open, with aromas of aniseed, red and blue berries, blood orange and earth plus touches of tobacco leaf and dried flowers. The medium-bodied palate combines intense, powerful flavors with a more ethereal, silty structure, and it finishes with loads of juicy layers. It's stunning straight from bottle but will have more to give with time in the cellar.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast

This well-balanced 72% Zinfandel blend is a classic. Concentrated in flavor and firm in structure, it is also silky in texture and so easy to sip and swallow. The nose is packed with hints of charcoal, black fruits and black pepper, while the palate boasts plump blackberry and tangy raspberry shaded by salt and pepper notes. Best from 2024.

Cellar Selection

JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Checking in as 72% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan, and the rest Mourvèdre, the 2018 Lytton Springs has a more nuanced, complex style that builds nicely with time in the glass. Red plums, mulberries, flowery incense, cedar, and a kiss of chocolate all define the bouquet, and this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a seamless, elegant texture (which is the hallmark of this vintage), and ample chalky minerality on the finish. It's going to benefit from a year or three of bottle age and shine for over a decade. I've had this cuvée with 20+ years of bottle age and it ages surprisingly well.
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Ridge

Ridge

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Ridge, California
Ridge Ridge Winery Video

Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.

Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s, it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.

The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.

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Dry Creek Valley Wine

Sonoma County, California

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A multifaceted and highly reputable sub-region of Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley is responsible for a wide range of wine styles—both red and white. One of the smallest AVAs in California, Dry Creek Valley has a winning combination of ideal geography and climate. Fertile, well-drained soils create concentrated varietal character while long, warm days, bookended by cool nights, allow grapes to reach full phenolic ripeness and balance. The warm and welcoming appellation is home to a number of family-owned vineyards and wineries that place a strong emphasis on sustainable farming practices.

Zinfandel reigns supreme here and still produces in a great number of very old vineyards—often 100 years old or older. These old vines create a powerful, voluptuous and sultry wine unlike those of any other region. Sauvignon Blanc, the valley’s signature white grape, also performs exceptionally well. Many other varieties grow comfortably here, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Syrah. Petite Sirah is often found in blends with Zinfandel.

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SOU975993_2018 Item# 658640

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