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2006 Ridge Lytton Springs

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Ridge 2006 California Lytton Springs®
2006 Lytton Springs Vineyard, bottled April 2008
80% zinfandel, 16% petite sirah, 4% carignane
14.7% alcohol by volume


After long, hard rains in March, budbreak came by mid-April. In late July, extreme temperatures sunburned the west-facing blocks. These are planted predominantly to petite sirah, which took the highest loss. Veraison was late, and light rains further slowed maturation. We thinned the damaged clusters, and harvested the remaining fruit, fully ripe, between mid-September and mid-October. As tannin developed, we reduced pumpovers, and pressed at dryness on day nine. After a natural malolactic, twenty of the thirty-four blocks were selected for the 2006. This classic Lytton Springs was barrel aged for a full fifteen months. Approachable now, it has the structure to be cellared and enjoyed over the next ten years. JO (1/08)

Tasting Notes - July 2008

Nose: Intense black cherry, mint, vanilla, chapparal, pepper, tar and mineral notes.
Palate: Sweet raspberry, plums, full, great depth with very elegant tannins, approachable but will soften and open up even more with age.

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History
In 1972, Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from vines planted here at the turn of the century, and purchased both the eastern and western portions of the vineyard in the early 1990s. (In the 1870s, under "Captain" William Litton's ownership, the two were part of one property; spelling evolved into "Lytton" by 1903.) The vineyard is planted to zinfandel and its principal complementary varietals: petite sirah, carignane, a small amount of mataro (mourvèdre) and grenache.

Vintage
Harvest Dates: 12 September - 16 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.0°
Fermentation: No inoculation; natural primary and secondary. Pressed at nine days.
Aging: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (22% new; 42% one, two and three years old; 36% four and five years old).
Time in Barrel: Fifteen months

Vineyard

First RIDGE Lytton Springs: 1972
Location: The bench and hills separating Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys, just north of Healdsburg, Sonoma County.
Elevation: 80' - 160'
Soils: Varied, with a predominance of gravelly clay; gravelly clay loam on hillsides.
Vines: Lytton East: 100-plus-year-old zinfandel, grenache, petite sirah, carignane (42 acres)
Lytton West: zinfandel, and small amounts of carignane, planted 1953 (33 acres); zinfandel, petite sirah, mataro, planted 1989 to 1998 (54 acres).
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned.
Climate: Fog in a.m., warm sunny afternoons, breezes in late p.m.
Exposure: Southeasterly
Yields: 1.5 – 3.0 tons per acre

Growing Season
Rainfall: Fifty-five inches (above average)
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: Wet spring and warm, dry summer, with light rain mid-harvest.

Last edited on 6/14/2009 by Eric

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