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. Paul Draper recently retired and John Olney is making the wines at Lytton Springs. 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 ’13 Lytton Springs in a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane and 2% Mataro.
Crimson in color. 14.3% ABV. Tremendous nose of brambly red and blue fruits, licorice and cocoa powder. Medium to full bodied with ample acidity. Lush and hedonistic. Earthy flavors of blueberry, boysenberry, plums and bittersweet chocolate. The finish long and sweet with gritty tannins. Clearly a wine built for the long haul. Drink over the next 6-8 years.
My rating: 92 points.
Current vintages of the Ridge Lytton Springs including the 2014 and 2015 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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