(94+) The 2014 Lytton Springs is another absolutely gorgeous wine...there appears to be plenty of complexity and depth hiding behind the acidity and tannin. Far from an easygoing Zinfandel, the 2014 Lytton is a wine to buy and cellar for at least a handful of years. The wine's richness, persistence and vertical intensity all lead me to believe it will be special in time. Black cherry, pomegranate, mint and sweet spices meld into the resonant finish. A kick of tannin from the Petite adds personality, something the 2014 has in spades. This is an absolutely stellar set of wines from Ridge... Zinfandel fans will find much to like in the 2014s, a vintage that produced super-elegant wines. Of course, the biggest news at Ridge is Paul Draper's retirement, but then again, that has been in the works for so long that it was hardly a surprise when it was formally announced earlier this summer. As one of the foremost ambassadors of American wine, Draper leaves behind a rich legacy at Ridge going back to 1969 and a team that is more than capable of leading the winery into the next generation. (AG)
*Two Stars* Not overripe so much as concentrated and reflecting its broadly based composition, this wine impresses with depth and potency, and while not boldly fruity in the classic Zinfandel model, it does come with notions of raspberry and dried strawberry in the midst of its blackberry-scented fruit. It is somewhat juicy to start, then turns tight and a tad astringent across the palate and into a finish that stays the course in the face of youthful tannin. Time will be a big-time ally here, and we would put this wine away for four years at a minimum and expect it to hold in good stead long into the next decade.
(91+) More fresh and elegant than the Geyserville, with a touch more focus, the 2014 Lytton Springs is another beautiful wine from this estate. Made from 69% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah and the rest Carignan and Mourvèdre, aged in 20% new American oak, it boasts fabulous notes of plums, blackberry jam, toasted spice and licorice as well as medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful mid-palate depth and notable tannin. The Geyserville is a touch sexier, but this will be longer lived. Give bottles 2-3 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following decade or more. (JD)
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