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 ’11 Lytton Springs in a blend of 82% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah and 2% Carignane.
Crimson in color. 14.4% ABV. Brambly nose of black fruits, bay leaves, earth and flowers. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Black cherry, blackberry liqueur, licorice and a big dose of pepper on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Terrific showing for a nine year old Lytton Springs from a marginal vintage. Best over the next 1-3 years.
My rating: 92 points.
The 2017 vintage is still widely available at retail. I’m a buyer year in and year out.
I wrote about Ridge previously in New Releases from Ridge Vineyards.