95 Points - Antonio Galloni "The 2016 Lytton Springs is a powerful, dense wine. Black cherry, plum, lavender, new leather, cloves, licorice and menthol flesh out. Deep, plush and richly textured, the 2016 Lytton Springs packs a real punch. The 23% Petite Sirah is felt in the wine's darkness and overall gravitas. There is more than enough richness and structure to support many years of fine drinking. What a gorgeous wine this is."
Winemaker's Tasting Note "69% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, 2% Mataro (Mourvedre). Complex aromas of vanilla, raspberry and black pepper. Full bodied with firm acidity, focused blackberry fruit and an elegant lingering finish."
Formed in 1962 Ridge Vineyards is perhaps California’s most revered and respected wine estate. With an old world ethos to winemaking balance and character are the main requirements for every bottle produced. Paul Draper has been winemaker here since 1969 ensuring that only ripe fruit is used alongside minimal intervention. As such, all wines have medium levels of alcohol, are deftly oaked and are unfiltered in a concerted effort to capture the inherent quality of the wine’s raw material.
At the introductory level, Ridge’s Estate Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon offer an immediate drinking experience that’s top notch and affordable. These are made with grapes grown on the estate’s vineyards in the cool hills of Santa Cruz. There is a great track record of these ageing well for up to 10 years from the vintage. Monte Bello is the winery’s range of super premium wines that helped it gain its reputation after the Cabernet Sauvignon placed 5th overall at Stephen Spurrier’s famous Judgement of Paris in 1976. After Stag’s Leap it was the 2nd best performing American red wine that had been rated by leading critics in a blind taste test. It is today a Bordeaux blend featuring cabernet sauvignon alongside merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot ageing well for up to 30 years. Its white companion, a varietal Chardonnay which is held in similar esteem, resembles a grand cru Burgundy with its mineral acidity balancing the ripe fruit and oak.
California is the largest and most important wine region in the US – in fact, if California were a separate country it would be the world’s fourth largest wine producer! California stretches along the west coast of the USA meaning that soils and climates vary enormously depending on the area’s altitude, latitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Generally the cooler regions closer to the coast are most suited to the growing of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, whilst further inland (where the climate is much hotter) some of California’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignon wines are grown. The famous Ridge Estate is located here and produces some of the best and most sought after wines in California. If you enjoy Chardonnay, we highly recommend you take a look at Liquid Farm Winery, whose Chardonnay’s (we believe!) rival those of Burgundy.
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