Tasting Note                         

96   1999   Ridge  Lytton Springs   2/18/18  ($28)

70% Zinfandel, 17 % Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 3% Mataro   14.5% alc
Color: Very deep garnet with barely a hint of browning and no clearing. Amazing for a 19 year old Zin. (4.0) Bouquet: Burnt caramel and cocoa are prevalent on top of mature Zinberry fruit (blackberry, boysenberry, black cherry and black raspberry), herbs and wet leaves. Also has a gout de vieux nuance. Intense for its age. (3.5) Body: Heavyweight, was heavier when young as you might expect. Silky mouthfeel that coats beautifully. Excellent fruit acidity and smooth tannins underneath. (3.5) Flavor: Parallels bouquet with delicious and interesting mature fruit and herb flavors. The wet leaf and mushroom flavors have come with age. Love them or hate them, they are interesting and complement everything else that is there. (3.5) Finish: Parallels flavor, but not quite as expressive. Still long and silky. (3.0)
Overall: A very interesting, well balanced, mature old Zin. It is very rare for a Zinfandel to hold together for this long. Was always a great wine and remains so. The Zinberry fruit is still all there, but the secondary nuances of burnt caramel, cocoa, herbs and wet leaves are much more forward than when young. The mushroom nuances from age may throw some tasters off, but the wine does improve and all the flavors integrate with a few hours air. I'd recommend double decanting. Drink now and in the next few years. I've certainly drunk other Zinfandels that have impressed me as much as this one, but the fact that this has remained great for over 16 years and I've relished every phase its gone through in that time, makes me consider it the greatest Zinfandel I have ever experienced. (17.5)

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