Several years ago, back when my resources were more plentiful, I was rather recklessly “investing” in wine through a few choice auction houses. I’m not exactly sure how reckless it really was when I consider what I opened up for some friends this last week; two older, aged Zinfandels, two 1998 Ridge from two different vineyards, Lytton Springs and York Creek.
The Lytton Springs is 77% Zinfandel blended with 16% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 4% Mataro, and 1% Alicante Bouchet. The York Creek is a more straightforward blend of 88% Zinfandel and 12% Petite Sirah. Now I know these two are not exact comparisons because of the significant amount of blend in the Lytton Springs over the York Creek, but given the quality of the producer, I still think that they are worthy of tasting side-by-side.
Both were still ample with aroma; the York Creek was the more substantial and balanced of the two. While both produced heady noses of dried blackberries and subtle dried herbs, the Lytton Springs was sweeter. Bricky in color, there was great body to be had. With the York Creek, the aromas were predominantly richer and more well-integrated. In the mouth, the York Creek showed dried dark stone fruit and dried blackberry with hints of dried tarragon, muted cinnamon spice, and a rich finish that included a lovely balance of fruit and spice.
The Lytton Springs, while still very drinkable, was less stellar next to its York Creek cousin. Sweeter on the mouth and less balanced, it displayed a good amount of fruit and herbal notes, but with less of a finish. Great fun, regardless!