Grape(s): 73% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignane, 2% Mataro
Localization: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA
Tasting Notes: Appealing nose of pepper, and raspberry. Layered plum, blackberry and cocoa on the palate with chalky tannins and a lingering finish.
95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck: The 2019 Lytton Springs checks in as 73% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, and the rest Carignan and Mataro. Revealing a translucent ruby/plum hue as well as beautiful cassis and red plum fruits supported by lots of savory herbs, orange blossom, cigar, and spice-driven aromas and flavors, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, moderate yet present tannins, and a great finish. While the Geyserville Cuvee has eclipsed the Lytton Spring in most vintages in the past decade, that's not the case in 2019.
95 Points - Wilfred Wong of Wine.com: I was amazed nearly 50 years ago when I tasted the 1972 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel, and after five decades, I still find myself excited with each new release. The 2019 Ridge Lytton Springs is simultaneously active and satisfying on the palate. TASTING NOTES: This wine deftly combines aromas and flavors of savory spices, black fruits, fragrant earthiness, and an accent of oak. Serve it with rosemary and black-pepper accented grilled lamb chops. (Tasted: September 26, 2021, San Francisco, CA)
Food Pairing: Pair with Texas-style BBQ beef brisket, a classic American burger or fig stuffed pork loin.
The Domain: 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.