Ridge 2012 East Bench® Zinfandel

2021 East Bench Zinfandel bottle shot

2012 Zinfandel, East Bench, bottled January 2014
100% zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley AVA
14.9% alcohol by volume

Winemaker John Olney's Notes (Back Label) - Despite a second year of low rainfall, this ridge-top vineyard set a heavy crop. Fortunately, a hot summer ensured a ripe, albeit delayed, harvest; we picked from September 25 to October 1. Following fermentation, five of the seven blocks were selected and combined. For definition and added spice, we increased the amount of new and one-year-old oak. After twelve months in barrel, the wine is elegant and redolent of red fruit. Enjoyable on release, it will develop fully over the next four to five years. JO (11/13)

Tasting Notes - Ruby red in color, spicey raspberry nose with notes of vanilla and clove. Black cherry, plum and mint on the palate with elegant tannins and an accent of lavender on the finish -John Olney (2/14)


Video Tasting Note

Presented by winemaker John Olney


History

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.

Vineyard

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: 4 tons per acre
Farming: Sustainably farmed; fish-friendly agriculture







Video Profile - East Bench Vineyard

Presented by winemaker John Olney


Aerial View - East Bench Vineyard


View Larger Map

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: 24 inches (below average)
Bloom: Mid-May
Weather: Warm spring and a long, warm summer.

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 25 September - 1 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1°
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: Twelve months in barrel

Winemaking

All estate-grown, hand harvested grapes. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 0.3 g/L tartaric acid; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 83 ppm during aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.


Miscellaneous

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

 

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


Press

  • Vinous Media logo Vinous Media (July 2014): "Deep, plush and inviting, the 2012 Zinfandel East Bench wraps around the palate with dark red and black fruit along with typical Dry Creek spice and underbrush notes. The tannins are a bit firm, again a Dry Creek characteristic, but there is more than enough juiciness in the fruit to round things out. Sweet floral and cinnamon notes add complexity on the resonant finish. This is a fabulous wine for the money." -Antonio Galloni (Rated: 91)
    Read review online at VinousMedia.com (subscription required)
     
  • California Grapevine California Grapevine (Vol. 40, June 2014): "Medium-dark purplish ruby; attractive, intense, briary, black cherry and blackberry aroma with hints of mint and dill; full body; forward, extracted, briary, cedary, dark berry flavors; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended."
    (Group Score: 16.3 of 20 points, 1/2/2; My Score: 17 (91/100), second place)
     
  • International Wine Cellar Stephen Tanzer's Winophilia/International Wine Cellar (21 April 2014): "From an outstanding vintage, the 2012 Zinfandel East Bench Dry Creek Valley displays powerful aromas of blackberry, cherry compote, vanilla and woodsmoke, with a spicy overtone that adds urgency. Fleshy, spicy and smooth, it shows very good clarity to its strong bitter cherry and dark berry flavors. Youthfully firm tannins give shape to the persistent finish, which features a subtle licorice note." -Josh Raynolds (Rated: 91)
    Read review at Winophilia.com
     
  • Connoisseurs' Guide Connoisseurs' Guide (September 2014): "Made entirely from Zinfandel and smelling every bit like it, the Ridge East Bench bottling juxtaposes ample, optimally ripened, blackberry fruit with intriguing touches of dusty, dry earth and sympathetic accents of sweet oak. If nominally tannic and ever so slightly astringent, it nonetheless shows a sense of professional polish and is a wine that speaks to potential. It deserves at least a few years of rest, and we feel safe in betting that it will grow for a half-dozen or more." Rated: 90 (*)