Lytton Springs, Ridge Vineyards, Sonoma County
The Lytton Springs vineyard is home to 100 plus-year-old Zinfandel vines co-planted with Petite Sirah, Carignan, a small amount of Mataro, and Grenache. The vines are head trained and spur pruned. The soils are predominantly gravelly clay, with some loam in the mix on the hillsides. Harvesting was carried out by hand between early September and the middle of October, in twelve separate blocks.
The bunches were destemmed and crushed with a nine-day maceration, before undergoing alcoholic fermentation using indigenous yeasts followed by natural, full malolactic. Each of the blocks were fermented separately with only the bare minimum of sulphur used during production and ageing.. The wine was then aged for fourteen months in air-dried American oak barrels (10% new, 25% one year-old, 15% three years-old, 15% four years-old, and 20% five years-old).
Produced by Ridge Vineyards
In 1962, Ridge made its first Monte Bello, and two years later its first zinfandel. Since that time, Ridge has championed single-vineyard winemaking, searching California for those rare and exceptional vineyards where climate, soil, and variety are ideally matched. From my point of view there have been several wines during my wine-drinking life that have left a huge impression. First tasting Ridge wines almost 30 years ago is right up there! I am delighted to have some wines on the list. For many of us Paul Draper is a legend in the world world. He retired in 2016 having worked as winemaker since 1969.
A complex nose of bright red fruit, pepper and toasty oak is followed by
a full-bodied palate combining rich raspberry and plum fruit with bold
but well integrated tannins and a lingering finish.