2004 Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1020031 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Taking its accustomed place at the head of the class, this year's Lytton Springs bottling from Ridge is a textbook example of the deep and expressive fruit that marks Dry Creek Zinfandel at its best. It is an optimally ripened wine that has range and richness without being in the least compromised by heat, and its careful use of complementary oak and its fine sense of structure make it a most impressive Zinfandel for everyday use as a most tasty and ageworthy table wine. *Three Stars*  (5/2006)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 An unusual vintage of Lytton Springs, this has a distinctive coolness to the fruit, partly expressed as a foresty flavor, and partly in a refreshing edge that recalls kiwi or peach. Peppery and purely zin, this would be delicious with the teriyaki ribs at Oolah in San Francisco.  (6/2006)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby. High-toned aromas of blackberry and fruitcake. Juicy, creamy-sweet and firmly built, with terrific intensity of tangy berry fruit. High-toned, youthful and firmly tannic wine with a piquant finishing flavor of pomegranate. (ST)  (10/2006)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The famed 2004 Zinfandel Lytton Springs (a 12,000-case blend of 79% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, and 3% Carignane) tips the scales at 14.5% alcohol. This elegantly-styled Zin reveals a dark ruby/purple color, notes of crushed rocks, black raspberries, and sweet oak, a distinctive minerality, sweet fruit, decent acidity, wonderful definition as well as freshness, and an excellent, long finish... This venerable producer, with as fine a track record as any winery in the world, continues to turn out high quality Zinfandels. (RP)  (6/2006)

87 points Wine Spectator

 Zesty and focused but rather reserved and a hint earthy, with accents of raspberry, dill and anise. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. (TF, Web Only-2014)

K&L Notes

Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from the 80-year-old vines here in 1972, and purchased both the eastern and western portions of the vineyard in the early 1990s. (In the 1870s, under "Captain" William Litton's ownership, the two were part of one property; spelling evolved into "Lytton" by 1903.) The vineyard is planted to Zinfandel and its principal complementary varietals: Petite Sirah, Carignane, a small amount of Mataro (Mourvèdre), and Grenache.

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Zinfandel

- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).