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 ’14 Lytton Springs in a blend of 69% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 11% Carignane and 2% Mataro.
Crimson in color. 14.4% ABV. Awesome nose of brambly black fruits, anise and toasty oak. Full bodied and somewhat tannic with perfect acidity. Powerful, concentrated and well balanced. Crushed blackberries, earth, iron and plums on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish with extra grip and tannin from the Petite Sirah. Lytton Springs ages well and I have little doubt the ’14 will be long lived. Best over the next 5-7 years.
My rating: 92 points.
The 2016 vintage is still widely available at retail and the 2017 should be released soon. I’m a buyer year in and year out.