1999 Lytton Springs magnum... when to drink?

A recent ‘value’ (£39/US$57) purchase having only drunk it from a half bottle previously when it was almost at its peak. The mag… keep or drink? FWIW I have little experience with aged Zin blends.


Haven’t had it in several years, but my older notes show it is a very good Lytton. I would favor drinking it earlier rather than later, just because I think the charm of Zin is there more in its youth. A good indication is often the percentage of Petite Sirah in the blend. A higher percentage will age longer in my experience.

You can read the notes on the wine from Ridge’s web site here:

http://www.ridgewine.com/acrobat/99ZLS.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Glad you were able to snag a very nice example of California Zin, rare to find over your way!

Don’t let the word “Zinfandel” fool you - these wines age extremely well. I had a 1995 LS from a 750 a few months ago and the wine was still very youthful. At the same tasting we had a 1992 York Creek and it was in a perfect place.

My rule of thumb with Ridge Geyserville and LS (out of 750s) is to start drinking at age 10, and enjoy over the next ten. I’m sure that bottle will be great now, but they turn into something special about about age 15.

I’ve had it out of both magnum and fifth in the last year, both bought upon release. In the fifth, it getting more interesting, but still not at its peak, to my taste. Out of the magnum it was much less evolved. I will wait another two or three years to try another fifth, and save my other magnum five to ten years.

My context is a tasting about three years ago of 17 Zinfandels from either Lytton Springs or Geyserville going back to 1972, at which this was the youngest wine. The wines became more interesting and less Zinfandel-ish as they aged, which makes me think this wine will age as long as I will let it.


My experience as well. About 8-10 years ago Ridge went through a large purge of its cellar, and sold a lot of wines from the 70s and 80s. I picked up quite a few. Most were nice to drink, even quite good, but almost all had lost much of their “Zin” character, smoothed out, and turned almost more claret-like. I’m just thinking that Phil probably doesn’t get much chance at good Zin over there, particularly one of the benchmarks like Lytton Springs, and would be better served to drink it on the early side than the later side. Just one opinion :slight_smile:

Understood and very relevant. It just kills me to see guys on CT declaring LS or Geyserville “over the hill” at age five or six. These wines do wonderful things in the latter-half of their teens, albeit those things are not very Zin-like.

I’d guess it is great now and will continue to be great into the future.

I’m going to be up in Healdsburg next weekend and look forward to picking up a mag of the 07 Lytton along with a mag of 07 geezer. I’m hearing great things about Ridge’s 07 field blends.

Have fun Mike - I’m buying as much '07 Ridge as I can afford. I think it will prove to be the vintage of that decade for Ridge.