Ridge 2012 Paso Robles Zinfandel

Ridge 2012 Paso Robles Zinfandel

Varietal Information
100% Zinfandel
14.8% alcohol by volume

90 points, Wine Spectator
90 points, Wine Enthusiast
"An American Classic", Dan Berger
"Stunningly Good", LA Times

Click below to watch winemaker Eric Baugher describe this wine

History

The Benito Dusi Ranch is the only vineyard in the Central Coast Viticultural Area from which we source grapes. Our Monte Bello vineyards are in the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Area which is not in the Central Coast. The 1967 vintage was our first wine from this vineyard. It was planted to zinfandel in 1922 which is unusual because Prohibition had started two years earlier. Purchased by Sylvester and Catarina Dusi in 1924, the property has been farmed since the 1940s by their son Benito, the owner.

Vintage

Harvest Dates: 5 September - 16 October
Grapes: Average Brix 25.5˚
Fermentation: 100% natural primary and secondary fermentation. 100% submerged cap; pressed at ten days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (25% new, 7% two years old, 34% three and 34 % four years old)
Aging: Eleven months in barrel

Growing Season

Rainfall: 12 inches (below average)
Bloom: Early May
Weather: Almost ideal conditions, dry summer and fall.

Winemaking

Benito Dusi Vineyard grapes, hand harvested. Destemmed and crushed. Fermented on the native yeasts, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria. A total of 1.3 percent rehydration (added to two of seven fermentors during fermentation). Minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35ppm at crush, 113ppm over the course of aging). Oak from barrel aging. Pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Aromas of ripe black cherry, plum, toasted oak, and caramel. Notes of mincemeat, plum, old-vine pepper spice on the palate with firm acid, defined tannins and an intense finish.

Tasting Notes and Reviews


2008 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2010/2/27


2008 Ridge Zinfandel East Bench


Rating: (90-92) The more powerful 2008 Zinfandel East Bench (100% Zinfandel; nearly 15% alcohol) boasts a dark plum/ruby color in addition to a big, sweet bouquet of briery fruit, earth, and pepper. Softer and fleshier than the 2007, it is meant for near-term consumption - 2-3 years.

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2008 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2010/4/1


ZINFANDEL New Releases


2008 Ridge, "East Bench," Dry Creek Valley ($26) Medium-dark ruby; attractive, herbal, briary, plummy, red berry fruit aroma with hints of rhubarb and stewed tomatoes; full body; forward, big, rich, textured, plummy, spicy, ripe blueberry and raspberry fruit flavors with an initial supple mouthfeel though astringent on the finish; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. 14.9% alcohol; 4,395 cases; 100% Zinfandel; released April 2010. (Group Score: 15.9, 3/0/1; My Score: 16.5 [89/100], sixth place)

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2008 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Joshua Greene, Wine & Spirits - 2010/10/1


AMERICAN NEW RELEASES


RATED: 92 2008 Dry Creek Valley East Bench Zinfandel (Best Buy) Ridge may be known for old-vine zin but the future is with the young, like this vineyard the Ridge team planted between 2000 and '01 using a massal selection from four pre-Prohibition vineyards. This zin grows on iron-rich clay loam and river rock, trained as bush vines, yielding a wine with bold intensity and a friendly sort of finesse. It's bright, vinous and spicy, with zinny florals that seem to rise right out of the meaty tannins. Old vines rarely produce a wine with this sort of exuberance. Decant it for roast lamb.

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2007 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2009/5/1


Zinfandel


RIDGE VINEYARDS Zinfandel East Bench Dry Creek Valley 2007 SCORE: 92 8% Petite Sirah. Here is marvelous proof that high ripeness and fine balance need not be mutually exclusive, for while the wine checks in at 15.4% alcohol, it is as deep in defined fruit and as carefully structured as any Zinfandel in this month's survey. It is simply brimming with berries from the first, and, while fully ripe, it is not in the least bit overdone. It is laced with briary spice and complementary oak, and its long, tannin-firmed finish is as well-focused on outgoing fruit as its intense, deep and handsomely crafted aromas. As impressive as it may be at the moment, it will only get better with time, and the best prescription is for a few years of patience.

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2007 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2009/6/1


ZINFANDEL - More New Releases


2007 Ridge, "East Bench," Dry Creek Valley ($30) Medium- dark purplish ruby; attractive, earthy, briary, cherry and blueberry fruit aroma with notes of licorice, dill, and green peppercorn; full body; forward, rich, textured, plummy, cedary, blackberry fruit flavors; firmly structured and slightly hard on the finish; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Very highly recommended. 15.4% alcohol; 2,900 cases; blended with 8% PS; released April 2009. (Group Score: 16.0, 3/0/1; My Score: 17 [90/100], fifth place)

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2007 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Robert Parker, Wine Advocate - 2010/2/27


2007 Ridge Zinfandel East Bench


Rating: 90+ This was my first look at a new offering from Ridge, the 2007 Zinfandel East Bench. From a young Dry Creek Valley vineyard, it is a blend of 92% Zinfandel and 8% Petite Sirah (15.4% alcohol). Its big, open-knit bouquet of briery black raspberries and black cherries is followed by a fleshy, medium to full-bodied wine revealing good freshness as well as a savory, up-front style. I would opt for drinking this offering over the next 4-5 years.

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2006 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Charles E. Olken, Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - 2008/5/1


Zinfandel


2006 RIDGE VINEYARDS Zinfandel East Bench Dry Creek Valley SCORE: 87 * Sporting the heretofore unseen "East Bench" designation, this new offering from Ridge makes a fine first impression with its open, oak-sweetened aromas of vanilla and well-ripened berries and its polished, varietal-fruit flavors. It stiffens up and shows a few angles and edges as its early charms fade and its acids and tannins kick in, and there is no question but that it will it benefit from a few years of smoothing.

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2006 ZINFANDEL EAST BENCH


Nicholas Ponomareff, California Grapevine - 2008/8/1


ZINFANDEL - More New Releases


2006 Ridge, "East Bench," Dry Creek Valley – Medium to medium-dark ruby; attractive, briary, cedary, cherry and blackberry fruit aroma; full body; forward, rich, briary, plumy, blackberry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Highly recommended. 14.9% alcohol; 1,700 cases; 100% Zinfandel; released April 2008. (Group Score: 15.8, 0/0/0; My Score: 16.5 [89/100], sixth place)

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