I took the opportunity to visit my daughter Jessica Rose aka Dolphin Girl just outside (or should I say above?) Conifer, Colorado a few weeks ago, and not only did we enjoy our time together at her house at about 9,200 feet, we drank some very fine Mr. Ridge to boot. Here's the rundown:
2003 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley, 76% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, $33.99, 14.3% alc.: Showing good, dark color, this is much as I remember it from when we first tried it; it’s rich, smooth, delicious and all about “Draper perfume” at its best, with lovely ripe raspberry, black raspberry and very well integrated oak. A note of pepper comes out with extended air (still drinking well 18 hours after being opened), adding interest and complexity. The wine is structured for several years of aging and development, but is so lush and voluptuous right out of the bottle, that I wouldn’t counsel against opening one tonight. Is this the last of the classic Ridge Lytton Springs?
2004 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley, 79% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 3% Carignane, $33.99, 14.5% alc.: With good dark color, this shows deeper, darker fruit than the ’03, and little of the coffee, toast and chocolate that it offered back in '06. There is a hint of Draper perfume on the nose, with a good deal more of that character on the palate, where it delivers a rich, solid core of black raspberry and blackberry, shaded with undertones of briar-bramble and just a smidgen of the aforementioned coffee. This is drinking quite well right now, but, as always, has the structure to develop for some years. A bit bigger than the ’03 and a little less lush, but only just, it’s another delicious Lytton Springs, if straying slightly from the classic “mold.”
2005 Ridge Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley, 77% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, 14.4% alc., $24.99: This has come around nicely since last summer; then it reminded me of “The Prisoner,” which is never a compliment in my book, but it has since shed its excesses and objectionable qualities that we’ve previously noted. With clean, dark color, it delivers flavors and aromas of ripe black raspberry, blackberry and black cherry, shaded with well integrated oak, subtle earthy briar bramble and a hint of what might be described as “Draper perfume.” Smooth, rich and drinking well, yet structured for several years of improvement. It may not be “classic” Lytton Springs, but it is certainly quite tasty at this point, and worthy of the name “Mr. Ridge.”
-From Colorado Dreaming
Reporting from Day-twah,