2006 Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs" Dry Creek Zinfandel
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep ruby-red. Vivid red and dark berry aromas are complemented by dusty floral and mineral notes, with a suave rose quality gaining power with air. Deep cassis and bitter cherry flavors are energized by tangy minerality, picking up exotic floral pastille and candied licorice nuances on the back end. Smooth and sweet, with fine-grained tannins and a long, sappy finish. This is balanced to reward at least another five to seven years of patience.
Wine & Spirits
Bright spice drives through the complex dark fruit of this old-vine blend, which includes Petite Sirah (16 percent) and Carignane (4). There's some funk to it that reads like BRett, but it hasn't taken over the wine. The zesty acdity makes it more versatile than most Zins, especially with roast turkey or duck with cherries.
Allen Meadows - Burghound
Although it teases with touches of spice and a nice sense of oak-sweetened berries, this gutsy young Zinfandel is relatively tightly structured at this point. It strikes us as one best set aside for several years, and its positive impressions of underlying fruit make keeping a fairly safe bet.
Deep but not opaque ruby. Very bright red fruit on the nose. Rather like the result of carbonic maceration (I find out later that the Petite Syrah is whole-bunch fermented). Highly perfumed. Cheeky and sweet and fresh. So pure and bright. A light herbal note. Raspberry, even a touch of pencil lead and linctus. Lovely impression of ripeness and freshness together. (Paul Draper explains that you cannot get this with Zinfandel unless you pick at the point where you will get 14-15% alcohol.) Fabulous dry, tight but very fine tannins and freshness on the palate. And that fine grip just adds to the freshness. There is such refinement here in a very full-flavoured wine. 80% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 4% Carignan. No inoculation; natural primary and secondary fermentations. Pressed at nine days. Aged 15 months in 100% air-dried American oak barrels (22% new; 42% one, two and three years old; 36% four and five years old).
Distinctive if unapologetically rustic, with wild berry, licorice and smoky dill aromas and ripe, powerful blueberry, tar and leather flavors wrapped in muscular tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. Best from 2010 through 2013.