Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

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Brandon R
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Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#1 Post by Brandon R » December 9th, 2016, 11:40 am

I grabbed a 3-bottle vertical (2008, 2009, 2010) of Ridge Lytton Springs. Not having had any yet, what's the sweet spot for these (generally speaking)? I know vintage plays a role, but I'd like to drink these side-by-side at some point. When would you pop 'em?

Second question: is it pronounced like LIT-ton or LIGHT-ton?
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Glenn L e v i n e
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#2 Post by Glenn L e v i n e » December 9th, 2016, 11:46 am

Lit-ton is what I have always heard.

We loved the 1990 earlier this year.
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#3 Post by Gerard S » December 9th, 2016, 2:37 pm

I love how Glen just told him to wait another 20 years....

It really depends on how you like your wine. Some folks love those wines young, some like them middle aged and some like them old. Me personally, I like to give them at least 5-7 years from vintage to let everything calm down. I would consider opening those together in the 2018-2020 time frame if you want something relatively soon. The 08 and 09 will probably be stunning in 2028....

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#4 Post by M. Sai » December 9th, 2016, 2:53 pm

I try to wait 15 years from vintage date, but often start dipping into my stash at about age 12.
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#5 Post by Ed Steinway » December 9th, 2016, 4:58 pm

Hi, Brandon. Welcome to the world of Ridge! The back of the wine bottles from Ridge have a label that gives winemaker notes and a fairly broad drinking window. If you are unsure on when to drink them those notes will give you a good guideline.

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#6 Post by Jeff Filippi » December 9th, 2016, 10:33 pm

I think Gerard said it well. Ridge Lytton Springs gives you a very wide drinking window.
I have been drinking a 10-year-old Lytton Springs each Thanksgiving since 2000.
I have bought 4 - 6 bottles each year since the '89 vintage. I tend to have my first bottle about 6 or 7 year after the vintage and drink the rest over the next 10 to 15 years. I still have a handful of bottles from the 90's going back to '94.

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#7 Post by GregT » December 9th, 2016, 11:10 pm

Brandon - you can drink them now. Or wait. The thing is, those wines don't require any age at all. You can age them and if you like the result, that's fine, but they're made to be drunk on release. It really depends on what you like. They're not necessarily better with age, just a little different.
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#8 Post by Doug Schulman » December 10th, 2016, 5:33 am

I agree that age isn't necessary, but I far prefer them somewhat mature, which I find generally begins around the 12-15 year mark, as Mike said. Of course, good vintages can go longer. It really depends on what you want to get out of them. It's worth picking up a couple of other bottles, maybe one just-released and one with a bit of age, to see when you might prefer to open this mini-vertical. The nice thing about this wine is that it isn't all that expensive, so you might as well gain some experience and figure out your own preference. Or, if you know you like mature red wines and don't really love young Zinfandel with a pretty strong American oak presence, just wait quite a few years.

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#9 Post by Howard Cooper » December 10th, 2016, 6:33 am

Jeff Filippi wrote:I think Gerard said it well. Ridge Lytton Springs gives you a very wide drinking window.
I have been drinking a 10-year-old Lytton Springs each Thanksgiving since 2000.
I have bought 4 - 6 bottles each year since the '89 vintage. I tend to have my first bottle about 6 or 7 year after the vintage and drink the rest over the next 10 to 15 years. I still have a handful of bottles from the 90's going back to '94.
I agree with these comments except that I like to drink mine at a variety of ages. Sometimes I like to drink them young for the fruit (a perfect brisket wine). Sometimes I like them aged longer for the complexity. My recommendation is to try some young and put some away and experiment over time to see what you like best. Because it drinks well but differently over a very long time, you really kind of have to pick where you like it best (there is no right or wrong answer IMHO). In this sense it is kind of like German Riesling. So, have fun and know that there really are no wrong answers.
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#10 Post by JeromeHan » December 10th, 2016, 7:05 am

I've had the 11, 12, and 13 recently (not at the same time) and they were all fairly enjoyable though primary at the time. I just purchased a 2001 that I will try and see.

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#11 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » December 10th, 2016, 7:48 am

Lytton is the one that has never been closed down for me. I enjoy them on release, at age 5, 10, etc.

Geyserville is the one I need to let sleep for 10+.
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#12 Post by lleichtman » December 10th, 2016, 8:46 am

I always assume that I will wait until 15 years. Never happens. I end up opening them in about 7 years and still really enjoy them. Also depends on how much you buy.
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#13 Post by Brian Tuite » December 10th, 2016, 9:18 am

We had a '93 a few weeks back that was lovely. One more in the cellar. Stored properly these wines will go quite a long time but like others said do not require it. Drink what you like when you want to.
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#14 Post by Bob Hunnicutt » December 10th, 2016, 10:34 am

I would probably drink the '08 now then see what you think
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#15 Post by Philip N. Jones » December 10th, 2016, 10:45 am

I had all three of these, and I still have a couple cases of the the 2009 and 2010.
Since I drank my 2008, I don't have the label to look at, but Parker says it matures 2016-2018. Sounds like now to me. What does the label say?
The label on the 2009 says it will continue to mature until 2020 or 2025. Parker says it will mature between 2013 and 2029. That's quite a range.
The label on the 2010 says it will continue to mature until 2021 or 2026. Parker says (in one issue) it will mature between 2020 and 2030. In a later issue, be says 2015-2030.
Parker rates them all about 92 or 93 or 95. Wine Spectator rates the 2010 a mere 87.
It sounds as if you would like to open all of them at once, as a vertical.
Last year, I had a vertical of the 2007, 2008, and 2009. They were all quite nice.
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#16 Post by Pat Martin » December 10th, 2016, 11:44 am

I've never had an over the hill Ridge. Stuff from 70's or 80's. Of course, bottles that old are usually longer lived varieties and/or bottlings. But still, Ridge wines might have the widest drinking windows around.
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#17 Post by GregT » December 10th, 2016, 11:50 am

I think that's right. I would take them to Spain because the wine makers there were always interested. Good on release and whenever you drink them later. I used to prefer the Geyservilles but of late have decided I prefer the Lyttons. Both do well young and old.
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#18 Post by Brandon R » December 13th, 2016, 7:59 am

Thank you all for all of the very helpful insight. My takeaway: they can and do age very well, and most prefer them at anywhere from 7-15 years from vintage. I think I'll wait a bit...thanks again!
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#19 Post by Howard Cooper » December 13th, 2016, 8:35 am

Brandon R wrote:Thank you all for all of the very helpful insight. My takeaway: they can and do age very well, and most prefer them at anywhere from 7-15 years from vintage. I think I'll wait a bit...thanks again!
Why not experiment with them at various ages. That way, you find out for future reference when YOU prefer them rather than relying on the judgments of others.
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#20 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm

Drinking a 2010 Ridge Lytton right now, it’s gorgeous. Like Howard notes, Ridge seems to show at all times, the showing is just a little different with age. This 2010 retains some very vibrant blue and black fruits and spice, and a classic architecture of firm tannins and fresh acids, but it is also picking up some Pessac-like tobacco notes that are captivating. I’ll hold my next bottle for 3-5 years.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#21 Post by Steve Gautier » July 24th, 2020, 6:25 pm

I’m drinking a 2013 tonight. Nice but more resolved than I was expecting. Plan on drinking the remaining two over the next year or two.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#22 Post by Hal Blumberg » July 24th, 2020, 8:54 pm

Wondering about the 2018 Ridge Lytton Springs. Do they release it late? Geyserville has been on the market since early this year.

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#23 Post by J.Vizuete » July 24th, 2020, 8:54 pm

A 2008 Lytton Springs consumed in 2015 was stellar and had a few years left in the tank. I’m inclined to guess vintage + 10 is just right. A 2001 last year was OTH and the 14s are far too young
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#24 Post by rgallagher » July 24th, 2020, 9:22 pm

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#25 Post by Cris Whetstone » July 25th, 2020, 8:05 am

I agree with Greg and Doug. I would say if you're curious drinking those now is a good choice.

In my anecdotal experience Lytton shows more vintage variation than Geyserville. Some are going to require more age than others. Some will drink better younger than others. Your decision is more about how mature you like to enjoy your wines than anything.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#26 Post by Br1an Th0rne » July 25th, 2020, 8:12 am

I generally wait til there is at least 7 years of bottle age, and then enjoy them through age 15. Honestly, I’ve never had a Lytton that I thought didn’t show well to age!

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#27 Post by MitchTallan » July 25th, 2020, 8:28 am

I've moved away from buying LS over the last several years though I did buy a token 6 of the '18 due to vintage.
It tends to be a bit too fleshy for my taste, more often than not i get slight syrup notes out of it that I am sensitive to-much like Pagani-and it is less interesting to me now.
Granted, it's still great stuff, but why buy LS when you can get Geezer for the same price?
I humbly disagree that LS ages well. It hangs on very well, but I almost never get the positive evolution out of LS that I get out of Geyserville. And I too have quite a few old bottles of LS in my cellar, and either one or two bottles of the original LS LS too. I would pop them but at the moment I have no physical access to them without a way to climb over piles of bottles-I need a powerful drone to reach them.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#28 Post by Ed Steinway » July 25th, 2020, 8:51 am

Hal Blumberg wrote:
Wondering about the 2018 Ridge Lytton Springs. Do they release it late? Geyserville has been on the market since early this year.
The Lytton Springs is typically released in September, along with the Pagani and a few others, while the Geyserville is typically released in March. I believe that several years ago the releases were reversed.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#29 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 25th, 2020, 12:23 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 8:28 am
I've moved away from buying LS over the last several years though I did buy a token 6 of the '18 due to vintage.
It tends to be a bit too fleshy for my taste, more often than not i get slight syrup notes out of it that I am sensitive to-much like Pagani-and it is less interesting to me now.
Granted, it's still great stuff, but why buy LS when you can get Geezer for the same price?
I humbly disagree that LS ages well. It hangs on very well, but I almost never get the positive evolution out of LS that I get out of Geyserville. And I too have quite a few old bottles of LS in my cellar, and either one or two bottles of the original LS LS too. I would pop them but at the moment I have no physical access to them without a way to climb over piles of bottles-I need a powerful drone to reach them.
Mitch, I’m in the same boat. I also felt that Ridge was increasing new oak on this cuvee. I think 2012 was my last purchase. Sad considering I’ve been buying it for 20+ years, but as you note, Geezer is another level of wine.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#30 Post by Howard Cooper » July 25th, 2020, 4:04 pm

I like both Geyserville and Lytton Springs a good bit. I have twice the number of bottles of Geyserville than I do of Lytton Springs, but in no way do I wish I had all Geyserville. My last bottle of Ridge "zin" was a 2013 Lytton Springs and it was quite enjoyable.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#31 Post by Scott Jameson » July 25th, 2020, 4:13 pm

MitchTallan wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 8:28 am
I've moved away from buying LS over the last several years though I did buy a token 6 of the '18 due to vintage.
...
Has the 2018 Lytton Springs been released yet ? That's usually a Fall (September) release ...

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#32 Post by Ed Steinway » July 25th, 2020, 4:57 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
My last bottle of Ridge "zin" was a 2013 Lytton Springs and it was quite enjoyable.
We had a bottle of this last fall and it was excellent. We buy more Geyserville than Lytton but the 2013 Lytton is excellent.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#33 Post by MitchTallan » July 25th, 2020, 5:03 pm

Scott Jameson wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 4:13 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 8:28 am
I've moved away from buying LS over the last several years though I did buy a token 6 of the '18 due to vintage.
...
Has the 2018 Lytton Springs been released yet ? That's usually a Fall (September) release ...
I was wrong. I went down to the cellar to check. I thought I had ordered 6 of each '18 but it was a solid case of '18 Geezer. Ed is correct and I am dumb.

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#34 Post by MitchTallan » July 25th, 2020, 5:05 pm

Mitch, I’m in the same boat. I also felt that Ridge was increasing new oak on this cuvee. I think 2012 was my last purchase. Sad considering I’ve been buying it for 20+ years, but as you note, Geezer is another level of wine.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#35 Post by Ed Steinway » July 25th, 2020, 5:15 pm

Mitch Tallan wrote:
I was wrong. I went down to the cellar to check. I thought I had ordered 6 of each '18 but it was a solid case of '18 Geezer. Ed is correct and I am dumb.
Buying a case of 2018 Geyserville completely absolves you of any errors!

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#36 Post by Hal Blumberg » July 25th, 2020, 5:16 pm

Thanks a lot, Ed! Good to know so I can watch for the release in a couple of months.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#37 Post by Howard Cooper » July 26th, 2020, 6:06 am

MitchTallan wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 5:03 pm
Scott Jameson wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 4:13 pm
MitchTallan wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 8:28 am
I've moved away from buying LS over the last several years though I did buy a token 6 of the '18 due to vintage.
...
Has the 2018 Lytton Springs been released yet ? That's usually a Fall (September) release ...
I was wrong. I went down to the cellar to check. I thought I had ordered 6 of each '18 but it was a solid case of '18 Geezer. Ed is correct and I am dumb.
Buying a case of Geyserville hardly qualifies you as dumb.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#38 Post by joejolesch » July 26th, 2020, 7:42 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 6:06 am
MitchTallan wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 5:03 pm
Scott Jameson wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 4:13 pm
Has the 2018 Lytton Springs been released yet ? That's usually a Fall (September) release ...
I was wrong. I went down to the cellar to check. I thought I had ordered 6 of each '18 but it was a solid case of '18 Geezer. Ed is correct and I am dumb.
Buying a case of Geyserville hardly qualifies you as dumb.
Especially a case of the 2018!

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#39 Post by Keith_B » July 26th, 2020, 8:10 am

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm
Drinking a 2010 Ridge Lytton right now, it’s gorgeous. Like Howard notes, Ridge seems to show at all times, the showing is just a little different with age. This 2010 retains some very vibrant blue and black fruits and spice, and a classic architecture of firm tannins and fresh acids, but it is also picking up some Pessac-like tobacco notes that are captivating. I’ll hold my next bottle for 3-5 years.
I opened a 2010 Lytton last night as well. I thought the nose was great and I’ll second the “it’s gorgeous “. Sadly, my only ‘10.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#40 Post by Marshall Manning » July 26th, 2020, 12:03 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 12:23 pm
Mitch, I’m in the same boat. I also felt that Ridge was increasing new oak on this cuvee. I think 2012 was my last purchase. Sad considering I’ve been buying it for 20+ years, but as you note, Geezer is another level of wine.
interesting that you like these wines, Robert. I haven't tried a recent Geyserville (2010 was probably the last?), but was a huge Ridge fan back in the late '80s and early '90s. Then the wines seemed to get much oakier, including Geyser, after 1995 or so. I stopped buying them because I don't like that dilly, whiskey barrel American oak flavor at all. Have they decreased the oak in recent vintages, or is it still the same?
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#41 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 26th, 2020, 12:32 pm

Marshall Manning wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 12:03 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 25th, 2020, 12:23 pm
Mitch, I’m in the same boat. I also felt that Ridge was increasing new oak on this cuvee. I think 2012 was my last purchase. Sad considering I’ve been buying it for 20+ years, but as you note, Geezer is another level of wine.
interesting that you like these wines, Robert. I haven't tried a recent Geyserville (2010 was probably the last?), but was a huge Ridge fan back in the late '80s and early '90s. Then the wines seemed to get much oakier, including Geyser, after 1995 or so. I stopped buying them because I don't like that dilly, whiskey barrel American oak flavor at all. Have they decreased the oak in recent vintages, or is it still the same?
Funny you mention that, as that is my hang-up as well! I’ve made a lot of comments in threads on Ridge regarding this very point, and even highlighted some of the technical data on their site which confirmed, at least to me, that some of the cuvees where in fact being exposed longer to greater percentages of new American oak. So let me say this, first. I do not like American oak. I drink very little Rioja because of this reason. I think Ridge would be 2-3x better in French oak. I have gotten to the point where the only cuvee I buy, since like 2010 or 2012(?) is Geyserville, and now in 1/2 or less of the quantity that I used to buy. I do not even buy the Cabs anymore, I found Some of the Estate Cab and the Torre Ridge vintages to be way oaky. Of course many here will tell you, you are drinking them too young, the American oak will integrate, yada yada. Well, things may integrate but the imprimatur of American oak - especially if you have any aversion to it - does not go away. The 2010 Ridge LS I drank still had the note, but was damn fine in spite of it.

Now all of that said, you obviously have a much long history with Ridge than I do, I started drinking them with the 1991 vintage. Perhaps going back further you see an even greater range of change as you note. I also think my palate tolerance for American oak has gotten worse. Not #MAGA I guess, lol, I’m gonna get extradited.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#42 Post by Marshall Manning » July 26th, 2020, 4:39 pm

Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 12:32 pm
Funny you mention that, as that is my hang-up as well! I’ve made a lot of comments in threads on Ridge regarding this very point, and even highlighted some of the technical data on their site which confirmed, at least to me, that some of the cuvees where in fact being exposed longer to greater percentages of new American oak. So let me say this, first. I do not like American oak. I drink very little Rioja because of this reason. I think Ridge would be 2-3x better in French oak. I have gotten to the point where the only cuvee I buy, since like 2010 or 2012(?) is Geyserville, and now in 1/2 or less of the quantity that I used to buy. I do not even buy the Cabs anymore, I found Some of the Estate Cab and the Torre Ridge vintages to be way oaky. Of course many here will tell you, you are drinking them too young, the American oak will integrate, yada yada. Well, things may integrate but the imprimatur of American oak - especially if you have any aversion to it - does not go away. The 2010 Ridge LS I drank still had the note, but was damn fine in spite of it.

Now all of that said, you obviously have a much long history with Ridge than I do, I started drinking them with the 1991 vintage. Perhaps going back further you see an even greater range of change as you note. I also think my palate tolerance for American oak has gotten worse. Not #MAGA I guess, lol, I’m gonna get extradited.
From seeing your notes on other wines it just seems like you wouldn't like that flavor profile, so I was surprised. I had a 1999 Geyser about 3-4 years ago, and it was still oaky to my palate, but I'm very sensitive to those flavors. While I think low levels of oak can integrate with time, I don't believe excessive oak ever integrates. Try a 20 year old Leonetti and you still get a boatload of wood.
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Robert.A.Jr.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#43 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 26th, 2020, 4:46 pm

I concur. John Morris and I have had this discussion and we both have a pretty traditional palate, but a few good Zins are a guilty pleasure. They are time and place wines, not something a drink with regularity, but nice when you have pizza, BBQ, grill some burgers, etc. They are very good friendly but a bit much without food.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#44 Post by Steve Costigan » July 26th, 2020, 8:10 pm

Had the 11 Lytton Springs tonight and I think it was probably better a few years ago and I think the 11s were never particularly remarkable. Admittedly I seem to prefer my zins younger than others here. Exception is the Ridge Geyserville which seems to need about 7 yrs. I’ve described the Lytton Springs as the Margaux of the zin world, and continue to believe that, fwiw. Ridge’s Lytton Springs, Geyserville and Pagani are a figurative holy trinity of zin; they are super reliable. I think they’ve all gotten better over recent vintages, with a reduction in pencilly-oak correlative, not causal. The 01 and 10 vintages were truly epic. Peace.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#45 Post by Sharad S. » July 27th, 2020, 5:56 pm

I opened the 2017 Lytton Springs and it got better after 5 hours in decanter. I may need 5 years it seems (or more)!
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#46 Post by Mark Henderson » July 28th, 2020, 12:42 am

A friend opened a 2012 Lytton Springs last Friday and it was in a very good place. No concerns about holding this for longer but a lot of pleasure to be gained now.

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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#47 Post by Andrew Kotowski » October 16th, 2020, 7:29 pm

Keith_B wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 8:10 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm
Drinking a 2010 Ridge Lytton right now, it’s gorgeous. Like Howard notes, Ridge seems to show at all times, the showing is just a little different with age. This 2010 retains some very vibrant blue and black fruits and spice, and a classic architecture of firm tannins and fresh acids, but it is also picking up some Pessac-like tobacco notes that are captivating. I’ll hold my next bottle for 3-5 years.
I opened a 2010 Lytton last night as well. I thought the nose was great and I’ll second the “it’s gorgeous “. Sadly, my only ‘10.
I picked up a couple of the 2010 Lytton Springs for $35.99 earlier this week (as well as a couple of 2011 Geyservilles at the same price). Tried one of them tonight with a Flannery New York and it was fantastic. Explosive nose and heavy blue/red fruit for me. I’ll save the other LS for a couple of years, but it’s in a sweet spot right now.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#48 Post by Keith_B » October 16th, 2020, 7:59 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 7:29 pm
Keith_B wrote:
July 26th, 2020, 8:10 am
Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
July 24th, 2020, 6:19 pm
Drinking a 2010 Ridge Lytton right now, it’s gorgeous. Like Howard notes, Ridge seems to show at all times, the showing is just a little different with age. This 2010 retains some very vibrant blue and black fruits and spice, and a classic architecture of firm tannins and fresh acids, but it is also picking up some Pessac-like tobacco notes that are captivating. I’ll hold my next bottle for 3-5 years.
I opened a 2010 Lytton last night as well. I thought the nose was great and I’ll second the “it’s gorgeous “. Sadly, my only ‘10.
I picked up a couple of the 2010 Lytton Springs for $35.99 earlier this week (as well as a couple of 2011 Geyservilles at the same price). Tried one of them tonight with a Flannery New York and it was fantastic. Explosive nose and heavy blue/red fruit for me. I’ll save the other LS for a couple of years, but it’s in a sweet spot right now.
That’s awesome Andrew. Guess I need to seek out more of these as well. I also enjoyed mine in the Grassl 1855.
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Re: Sweet spot for drinking Ridge Lytton Springs (in general)

#49 Post by Leonard Maran » October 18th, 2020, 1:05 am

When it comes to Ridge there are no hard and fast rules’ Mostly, people think that the Geezer is more serious but IMO, the 2018 Lytton is finer than it’s counterpart and will be more long lived.

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