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 ’03 Lytton Springs in a blend of 76% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, and 6% Carignane.
Served out of magnum without decanting. Crimson in color. 14.3% ABV. Interesting nose of red fruits, bay leaves and wet forest floor. Medium body with adequate acidity. Light, delicate and elegant. Cherries, salmonberry and black tea on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Even out of magnum I would contend this wine is at or slightly past it’s prime at 15 years of age. Very good nonetheless. Drink in the near term.
My rating: 89 points.
The 2015 vintage was recently released and can be found for $34-$40. I’ve already secured my bottles.
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