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Ridge Lytton Springs (375ML half-bottle) 2008

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Winemaker Notes

Ripe nose of raspberry, plum, pepper and chapparel. Blackberry, mineral and vanilla notes dominate the palate. Well integrated tannins typical of this classic vineyard add to the long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator

The 2008 Lytton Springs is a powerhouse. Today, the 2008 is in the zone. The aromatics have begun to open up, the mid-palate retains gorgeous depth and all the elements are in sync. Sweet herbs, tobacco, menthol and licorice wrap around the imposing finish. This is a decidedly virile vintage of the Lytton Springs. Well-stored bottles will drink well for another decade or more, as the 2008 still has a lot to say.

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

Striking, intense black cherry and blackberry fruit with some spice and earth jump from the glass of the 2008 Lytton Springs, a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah, and 5% Carignan. Dark ruby with a nice tannic overlay, the wine was aged 15 months in American oak. Spicy, impressively rich, with good acids and loads of concentration, this is a beauty to drink over the next 5-7 years.

CG 93
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.

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Ridge
Ridge, , California
Ridge
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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

WLD946687_2008 Item# 109280

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