A question on Ridge Lytton Springs 2010

A small batch of this will arrive at our monopoly soon. Unfortunately I won’t have the opportunity to try one bottle and then decide if I want more and it’s a wine I have never tried in any other vintage either. But assuming I enjoyed the 2009 Geyserville (it being the only Zin-based wine I have ever truly enjoyed), do forumites here think I might also enjoy LS 2010? Can I expect something stylistically similar to the Geyserville? Is it safe for me to go ahead and order 6 bottles?

You will find people who consistently prefer one or the other. I don’t think they are the same in style. I always liked Geyserville better. On the other hand, Ridge wines are so popular with so many, even it’s not your favorite it’s hard to go very far wrong.

Hi, Otto.

I usually prefer the Geyserville to the Lytton Springs, but in 2010 I prefer the Lytton Springs. It is a very fine wine and I think you will enjoy it if you liked the 2009 Geyserville. I love the 2009 Geyserville and bought several 2010 Lytton.


Same here.

There is not much in common with these wines (besides the winemaker). As to the “supporting cast” the Geyserville has a lot of Carignane and derives its structure from the acidity that grape provides. Lytton Springs tends to be more tannic from its larger Petite Sirah component. 2010 was a really oddball year with a very cool summer, and devastating heat spikes in late August. Many grapes didn’t survive the heat and other didn’t ripen. There were some really good wines made, but not a vintage where I’d look for much typicité.

I prefer Geyserville too, but Lytton Springs is wonderful. It can be a bit richer than the Geyserville and show more class, but without the rustic sauvage qualities nor energy of the Geyserville that I love. But it’s Ridge, and the deft signature of the wine maker shows across its entire line up.

In sum, buy.

Yes, you couldn’t do much better in the world of Zin than to buy Ridge Lytton and Geyserville annually.

Otto - I think if you liked the Geyserville, you’ll like the Lytton Springs. They do have a different mix of grapes and somewhat different style. But in the larger picture, they are more like each other than they are like other zinfandels.

Thanks for the replies; certainly sounds like I should buy the 6.

Just had a great 09 Lyton Springs in Vegas at the MGM for $75 off the list in thier Italian restaurant. Great wine, drinking great and not a bad Vegas list value. We entertained clients and drank two very consistent btls with a decant.

Tried the 10’ Lytton again at the tasting room today, glad I already have a case of it.

Also got to try barrel samples of the 12’ Lytton and its no slouch, killer stuff.

Ridge is a wine that I never looked at based on vintage, rather their commitment to a philosophy of producing wines that profoundly represent where they are from. A brand way ahead of their time.

Thanks to the many positive views here and elsewhere, I bought a couple. And I finally got around to opening one. 14% abv; mostly Zin with 30% Petite Sirah and Carignane. This is very perfumed and sadly, for my quercophobic tastes, quite a bit of the aroma is new oak. But it is also a more elegant Zin than any other I have tried with plenty of bright, berried fruit and no lush sweetness. Dry, well structured (I understand the 2010 Geyserville was de-acidified but 2010 LS was not) and not at all as sweet as I have learned to expect Zin to be. It finishes fresh and is quite moreish. I really love the acidity and lightness of touch in this wine and I am confident that once the new oak goes more into the background this will be a very good wine. As far as Zinfandel goes, this is a savoury and elegant wine. But how long must I age these until that slightly annoying oak goes into hiding?

IMHO, Ridge Lytton Springs shows best at age 15 with +/- 3 year window. That said, I’ve had some wonderful Lytton Springs closer to 20 years-- the 1990 was fantastic last year.

But the oak should be sufficiently integrated in ~5 years.

Otto-it takes years, but those years are of great overall benefit

Oak is part of the Ridge signature and it’s sometimes surprising how otherwise oak-shunning tasters give Ridge a pass on it… including myself! For whatever reason I like the flashy style of these wines young, particularly Geyserville, but I’d be horrified to find that oakiness in most wines.

All American oak. IIRC, 100% new American oak barrels (high-end KY Bourbon barrels, I believe) are used with the Monte Bello cabs (another reason that these wines demand age).

The used Monte Bello barrels (like old clothes to a younger sibling) are then passed down to the Zins and estate cab. I want to say that Geyserville and Lytton are about 1/3 new American oak.

Technically, aren’t the winemakers different? I think Eric makes the Geyserville at Monte Bello while John makes the Lytton at Lytton.

I thought I was somewhat sensitive to oak, but really did not experience that when I drank an 08 Lytton Springs a few months ago (the first 08 Zin I had opened). However, after following the Ridge with an 08 Mazzocco Reserve a month later, I decided to hold my remaining 08’s for at least another year - these two just seemed a little shut down right now. I like my Zins a little younger than most, so I don’t think I would hold any beyond about 8 years anyway.

As others have stated, Ridge Zins have a different aging profile than most. Paso Robles is good to go early. Lytton may be best at about 8-12 years. Geyserville seems to age like Monte Bello Cab, not hitting its stride until after 15-20 years.

Astute observation. I fall entirely in that camp. it’s part of the Draper perfume. I’m typically averse to pronounced oak, but not with Draper’s Zins.