Ridge 2011 East Bench® Zinfandel

2011 East Bench Zinfandel bottle shot

2011 Zinfandel, East Bench, bottled February 2013
100% zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley AVA
14.6% alcohol by volume

Winemaker John Olney's Notes (Back Label) - Summer was mild; not a single day reached 100°F. Grapes on this twelve-year-old vineyard ripened two weeks later than usual, and were harvested between September 19 and 24 — well before October's untimely rains. Juice was pumped over the skins twice daily for nine days, achieving balanced tannin, full color, and intense fruit. After natural malolactic, six of the seven parcels were combined, then racked to air-dried american oak for thirteen months' aging. Showing briary black fruit, pepper, and spice, this rich zinfandel will be at its best over the next five or six years. JO (12/12)

Tasting Notes - Nose of raspberry and pepper with floral and mineral notes. Palate layered dark cherry and black currant fruit, mineral, cocoa, balanced acidity with fine tannins on the finish. JO (1/13)

Video Tasting Note

Presented by winemaker John Olney

Marketing Materials


Information on other vintages: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 (first vintage)


Ridge has made the East Bench as a single-site zinfandel since 2006. One of our few single-variety wines, this zinfandel vineyard sits high on top of the bench land that overlooks Dry Creek Valley from the east.


East Bench map

First RIDGE East Bench: 2006
Location: East Bench Vineyard is located on the Eastern bench of Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Soils: Gravelly clay loam
Vines: Zinfandel planted in 2000 from three 19th century vineyard selections
Training: Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned.
Yields: 3.5 tons per acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed; fish-friendly agriculture

Aerial View - East Bench Vineyard

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GPS coordinates: 38° 38' 48.15" N, 122° 52' 43.70" W
Note: Lytton Springs tasting room is 2.2 miles (3.6km) from this location.

Growing Season

East Bench soil

Rainfall: 40 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late May
Weather: Wet spring and atypical cool summer; with no sustained heat spells.


Harvest Dates: 19 - 24 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.9°
Fermentation: Natural primary and secondary; twice daily pump-overs; pressed at nine days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two years old, 40% three and four years old.)
Aging: Thirteen months in barrel


All estate-grown grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. Minimum effective sulfur (35 ppm at crush, 180 ppm over the course of aging). Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


Bottle UPC Packaged SRP Notes
750mL 744442889006 12x750mL $28 60 cases/pallet (15 per layer)


SRP: suggested retail price per bottle (U.S. dollars)


  • Vinous Media logo Vinous Media (July 2013): "Pure structure takes center stage in the 2011 Zinfandel East Bench. A rich, intense wine, the 2011 is going to require at least another year or two for the tannins to start melting away. There is a lot to like here, but readers will need to be patient. Dark red cherries, plums, flowers, mint and licorice struggle to emerge in this powerhouse Zinfandel." -Antonio Galloni (Rated: 92)
    Read review online at VinousMedia.com (may require subscription)
  • Tasting Panel The Tasting Panel (July 2013 Extra): "Spicy black fruit with notes of pepper; juicy, crisp and lively with depth and lovely balance; fresh, tangy and completely charming." -Anthony Dias Blue (Rated: 91)
    Read the review online at TastingPanelMag.com