Ridge Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma County, California) “Lytton Springs” 2018

($44):  Full disclosure: I am prejudiced against Zinfandel.  So, perhaps my enthusiasm for this wine is helped by the absence of a varietal name on the label, but I don’t think so because I tasted it in a line-up of Zinfandels at a SommCon Virtual Summit.  This is a captivating red blend, based primarily (72 percent) on Zinfandel.  Petite Syrah (18 percent), Carignane (8 percent) and Mataro, all grown in the same vineyard and vinified together, a so-called field blend, round out the wine.  The beauty of this wine is its balance  — lush dark fruit intermingled with spice cresting a brambly profile.  The tannins contribute balance by adding a welcome hint of bitterness, offsetting the apparent ripeness.  It’s actually restrained, at least for contemporary Zinfandel. (At “only” 14.5 percent stated alcohol, it could be considered low alcohol for Zinfandel.)  This is great choice as we head into colder weather and heartier food.  Ready now, but Ridge’s wines develop beautifully over time, so there’s no rush if you lay down a case.
95 Michael Apstein Oct 27, 2020