Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lytton Springs Blind Tasting 1/31/11

This was a Rossbott tasting. 15 people, 8 wines. We tasted blind and individually ranked them. The rankings are compiled and tallied, yielding a group score, ranking and a spread. The score is 1 point for each 1st place vote, 2 for 2nd and so on down to 6 for 6th, so the lower the score the better. The spread shows the number of votes for the following rankings: 1st/2nd/3rd/last.

A) Nose - austere, dark, dusty, kirsh and olive, pipe tobacco.
Rich, touch of raisin, slight bitter edge, mature cherry and blackberry. Lovely. 94 pts
My #1, group #2 3/1/3/0 (57)
1992 Ridge "Lytton Springs", Dry Creek Valley (88% Zin, 8% Petite Sirah, 4% Grenache, 14.9%)

B) Nose - green cocktail olive, cherry, sweetish/oxidative.
Sweet pickle, nice mature cherry, smooth, odd, but not unpleasant. With time, some smoked meat and cabbage, dark berry. 87 pts
My #7, group #8 0/1/0/5 (95)
1990 Ridge "Lytton Springs", Dry Creek Valley (80% Zin, 10% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, 4% Grenache, 13.8%)

C) Nose - deep,dark, rich, classic L.S., oregano, sweet wood, floral, licorice, leather.
Cedary blackberry, tobacco, smooth/dusty tannin, slight bitterness. 91 pts
My #5, group #4 1/1/4/2 (67)
1994 Ridge "Lytton Springs", Dry Creek Valley (80% Zin, 13% Petite Sirah, 4% Carignane, 2% Grenache, 1% Alicante Bouchet, 14.3%)

D) Nose - deep and dark, basil, licorice, hint of Green Zebra tomato.
Sweet, dill, quite mature black cherry, dark dusty tannins. 91 pts
My #6, group #6 4/0/0/1 (72)
1991 Ridge "Lytton Springs", Dry Creek Valley (80% Zin, 12% Petite Sirah, 5% Grenache, 3% Carignane, 14.1%)

E) Nose - lovely savory dried herbs, blackberry, subtle wood spice.
Rich, has a funky fruit component - Alicante?, wild berry, smooth, dusty tannin, good intensity of fruit, touch of peppermint. 93 pts
My #2, group #1 3/5/1/0 (43)
1991 Ridge "Lytton Estate-ATP", Dry Creek Valley (86% Zin, 7% Petite Sirah, 7% Grenache, 15.4%)

F) Nose - odd/musty, shy, dusty black cherry.
Dark, cherry, funky, TCA, blackberry, zest. Flawed - corked.
My #8, group #7 1/2/0/3 (80)
1993 Ridge "Lytton Springs", Dry Creek Valley (85% Zin, 8% Petite Sirah, 3% Carignane, 2% Grenache, 2% Alicante Bouchet, 14.5%)
The fruit was still dominant, and most people didn't get why this wine was wrong. The quality still showed, and I guessed I'd probably rate a non-corked version about 92. Turns out this is one of the two wines this tasting had in common with the Ridge Blogger Lytton Springs tasting, where I rated it 92.

G) Nose - mature, light cherry, hint of green olive.
Olive, cherry, pert, youthful berry. 92 pts.
My #3, group #5 1/1/3/1 (68)
1994 Lytton Springs Winery, Dry Creek Valley (14.3%)

H) Nose - classic L.S., clean, shy, black cherry and black currant.
Rustic alicant-y fruit, deep, youthful, sweet, hint of cinnamon candy. 92 pts
My #4, group #3 2/4/3/3 (58)
1995 Ridge "Lytton Springs", Dry Creek Valley (84% Zin, 14% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 14.3%)

As a bonus, one of the participants brought a non-commercial bottling from the 1974 vintage, made before the Lytton Springs Winery was bonded.
Nose - lovely mature fruit, cedary, smooth, perfectly integrated, hints of pipe tobacco, American oak, cherry.
Pert, round, mature, smoky caramel, cherry, good minerality. 92 pts
Started to fall apart after about 20 minutes. What a treat! Interesting to note that what looked like sediment in a few people's glasses turned out to be grape skins. (Yes, we counted 4 skins. "There's 4 skins in the wine.")


Bree said...

Which vintage was the Lytton Estate??

Wes Barton said...

Fixed. Thanks.