The 2013 Lytton Springs has really come together over the last year, far exceeding my early expectations. Powerful and explosive in the glass, the 2013 boasts tons of inky blue/purplish fruit, mocha, spices, new leather, lavender and licorice. Readers will have to give the Lytton Springs at least a few years to shed some baby fat, but it is nearly impossible to resist, even at this early stage. Once again, the team at Ridge has produced an absolutely compelling Lytton Springs. The 16% Petite Sirah in the blend adds an unmistakable air of gravitas. Ridge remains one of the finest operations I visit anywhere in the world. The total commitment to quality, value and customer service simply has no equal in this country. Although the flagship Monte Bello, Lytton Springs and Geyserville bottlings get most of the attention, the Three Valleys Zinfandel is a reliably outstanding value, while the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is the finest California Cabernet Sauvignon in its price range. (AG)
A blend of 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignan and 2% Mataro (Mourvèdre), the 2013 Lytton Springs is a sexy, plump and gorgeously rich effort that has lots of bramble, plums, violets and licorice on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, deep, rich and concentrated, it has a solid kick of tannin and will benefit from short term cellaring. 15-20 years of longevity isn't out of the question here. This was a terrific set of wines from Ridge. The 2012 Bordeaux releases all have brilliant purity of fruit, with surprising freshness and focus. They’ll need short term cellaring to be approachable, especially the Monte Bello. The 2013s are similar in style to the 2012s, with tight, fresh profiles and solid tannic grip. I think the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello has slightly more depth than the 2012 (the blends are quite different as well), but both are lively, structured wines that will need bottle age. I don’t think either hits the heights of the ’91 or ’05, but time will tell. The 2013 releases from the North Coast all showed beautifully and had solid concentration and fresh, lively profiles.
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