2008 Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1061158 94 points Vinous

 The 2008 Lytton Springs is a powerhouse. Today, the 2008 is in the zone. The aromatics have begun to open up, the mid-palate retains gorgeous depth and all the elements are in sync. Sweet herbs, tobacco, menthol and licorice wrap around the imposing finish. This is a decidedly virile vintage of the Lytton Springs. Well-stored bottles will drink well for another decade or more, as the 2008 still has a lot to say. (AG)  (7/2016)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Ripe, but not overly so, and carefully crafted with a certain claret-like polish that is the Ridge signature, this year's Lytton Springs bottling is a deep, very well-focused wine that keys on varietal berries with complexing notes of dusty and dry spice lending a little more range than everyday Zinfandel gets. It is nicely balanced with a fine spine of tannins for grip but maintains its sense of finesse and composure right to the end, and, if not so astringent that it cannot be enjoyed now, it is built to get better for several years and will hold for many more. *Two Stars*  (2/2011)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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... (RP)  (2/2011)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated ruby. Dark berries, cherry, sassafras and smoky Indian spices on the nose, with an intense vanilla quality and a hint of dried violet. Opulent, palate-coating blackberry and mulberry flavors show a spicy, oaky quality, with gentle acidity providing lift. Dusty tannins add grip to the vanilla-tinged finish, which clings impressively. I have no doubt that this wine will absorb its oak with a few years or so of bottle age. (ST)  (5/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 Spicy, firm, tannic – difficult to read now. This sinewy wine needs ages in bottle. There is lots packed in here – it’s a bit of a first growth really – but wait and wait. Very dense and dry. 17.5/20 points  (3/2010)

Wine Enthusiast

 Made with 74% Zin and additions of Petite Sirah and Carignane, this wine is bone dry and a little rustic in the edgy tannins that have hints of bitter greens. Yet it's complexly flavored, offering waves of berries, currants, cola, anise and pepper.  (2/2011)

Wine Spectator

 Sleek yet tight and briary, with tart plum and dill aromas and zesty cherry, anise and earth flavors that finish with a grip of tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. (TF)  (6/2011)

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- 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.

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.


- 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).