Ridge Lytton Springs ’08 – Perfectly balanced. $29.95 RP93

April 17, 2011 Cellar WorthyHigh End Values  No comments

Ridge Lytton Springs 2008In my humble opinion, Ridge makes the best Zinfandel in the country.  Plain and simple.  I’m admittedly not a huge Zin drinker because the super high alcohol, sweet style doesn’t appeal to me.  In fact, some Zins are so sweet that I’m sure there is residual sugar, much like dessert wines.  That fact got me wondering why I like the Zinfandel grape at the hands of Ridge’s capable winemaker.  So, I read the label.

Though most modern wine labels focus on pretty pictures (gimmicks), Ridge actually includes useful information on theirs.  There I discovered the answer to my question.  Ridge Lytton Springs only contains 14.4% alcohol.  It’s not uncommon to see Zins above 16%.  It’s also perfectly dry.  Since sugar equals alcohol, the picture is all of the sudden becoming clear.  Reading on, the label actually says that they had to rush to pick their grapes before they got too ripe!  Now, I love ripe wines as evidenced by the fact that I have written numerous times about my fondness of Chris Ringland wines!  But for Zinfandel, a little restraint goes a long way.  Parker agrees.  He gave this one 93 points.

Lytton Springs pours a slightly transparent, but nonetheless dense ruby color.  On the nose blueberry is complemented by vanilla oak flavors.  The palate is incredibly balanced – ripe but with Bordeaux-like restraint.  The Petite Sirah component, which makes up 21% of this wine, adds a beautiful depth and texture.  This is an absolutely delicious wine.

I believe the 2008 is slightly better than the 2007, which was also very good.  If you are a fan of Ridge wines, or like a more retrained style of Zinfandel, I would highly recommend this wine.

Buy Here: 2008 Ridge Lytton Springs $29.95

Robert Parker 93 points

“Striking, intense black cherry and blackberry fruit with some spice and earth jump from the glass of the 2008 Lytton Springs, a blend of 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah, and 5% Carignan. Dark ruby with a nice tannic overlay, the wine was aged 15 months in American oak. Spicy, impressively rich, with good acids and loads of concentration, this is a beauty to drink over the next 5-7 years. “

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