2006 Lyttton Estate Zinfandel: Tasting Notes …

The 2006 Lytton Estate Zinfandel, a very limited-production estate zin comprised of fruit from several very select parcels within the boundaries of the Lytton Springs vineyards, was released to ATP members-only earlier this month, but it’s about to come into our tasting rooms, so I thought I’d share some current tasting notes; and by current I mean right now!

Beautiful black plum-toned belly rimmed by a bright magenta halo and offering legs that bespeak a substantive viscosity … Deep and concentrated aromatics, evidencing the full extent to which the 16% Petite Sirah influences the composition of this wine; brazen berry notes are underlaid with a darker, tarrier layer, giving much heft to the bouquet; fairly strong wood notes as well, but not particularly oaky per se, more of a sandalwood and light cedar character … thickly weighted point-of-entry, spreading bright acidity to the cheeks, clumpy-plummy fruit to the back of the tongue, and layering intense tannins across the teeth and the inside of the lips … great side-tongue acidity as well; very structure-forward at this point, and wildly mouth-filling, with a nice layer of granular minerality … A little smokiness emerges towards the back-palate, and continues into the long and sizzling finish … A heavy-duty excitement wine that trades away more common traits of California zin related to ripeness, voluptuousness, and fleshiness, in favor of muscularity, depth, and concentration. Quite young, certainly drinkable now, but with a multi-year future in the cellar should you wish it.

I should note that I am tasting this wine while enjoying my lunch, a rather hearty and cheese-heavy spin on spinach lasagna, and the two complement one another awfully well!

Categories: Lytton, Lytton Springs, Petite Sirah, Tasting Notes, Tasting Rooms, Zinfandel

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3 replies

  1. Truth in advertising, please. When first opened in my home, four days ago, it was difficult, tight, a little sharp even. It was like the kid who refuses to join in a game and folds arms tightly and twists side-to-side for a fully body NO.

    I left my first glass alone, to think things over a bit – and reconsider joining the party. Maybe seeing the puttanesca being prepared would coax it out. About an hour later, it unfolded its arms and started to open up. Two hours later, and it was full of life, giving all the flavors your described. From being a wallflower, it really was coming into its own as the life of the party.

    Half the bottle remained for the next night, which was Thai style stir fry, and the Lytton Estate was ready to party with that, too. I don’t normally pair a zin with Asian fare, but the acidity and fruit complemented it quite well.

    There was but a glass left for the third day. An oversight, probably, and the wine was still going strong. Always an indicator of a wine with a long life ahead.

    Net net: this is not a pop and pour wine. At least not yet. Patience required.

    • Are you suggesting I wasn’t being truthful? I rather thought we matched up on quite a few things. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding? Do tell!

      • You’re always truthful. Adding the note that it takes a while to open up and display those rich flavors, and it’s well worth the wait.

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