100% Zinfandel – Organically Grown
Dry Creek Valley
Ripe jammy raspberry fruit with pepper, eucalyptus and sweet toasted oak. Rich brambly fruit on the palate, sensuous texture and a long layered finish.
The growing season here began with unusually warm weather, and the vines responded with a full crop. Though we dropped fruit in July for optimum ripeness, we had record yields. After fermentation, we chose five of the seven parcels, combined them, and racked to barrel for twelve months’ aging. An excellent example of both varietal and site, this wine exhibits the red fruit and peppery flavors characteristic of Dry Creek zinfandels. Enjoyable now, it will evolve fully over the next five years. JO (10/14)
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.
Rainfall: 24.5 – 30 inches inches (below average)
Bloom: Early to Mid-May
Weather: Warm spring and early summer followed by cooler weather that slowed ripening.
Harvest Dates: 9 – 13 September.
Grapes: Average Brix 25.1
Fermentation: Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; 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: Hand harvested; sustainably farmed, estate-grown organic grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the native yeasts, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; 1.6 % water addition during fermentation; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 224 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions. Ingredients: Hand harvested, sustainably grown grapes, indigenous yeasts, naturally occurring malolactic bacteria, minimum effective SO2.
The Wine Advocate (October 2015): 90 Points “Made from 100% Zinfandel, the 2013 Zinfandel East Bench is a concentrated, if not backwards, effort that has lots of plum and currant fruits, licorice, incense, and spice cake aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, juicy, lively and tannic, I’d like some more mid-palate flesh, but it’s still a beautiful bottle of wine that will evolve for a decade.” – Jeb Dunnuck
Vinous Media (July 2015): 91 Points. “Black cherry, plum, smoke, dark spices and licorice are some of the notes that inform the Ridge’s 2013 Zinfandel East Bench. The 2013 possesses striking focus and salinity that play off the wine’s powerful yet mysterious personality. The darker side of Zinfandel comes through on the incisive finish. This is another wonderfully complex wine from Ridge.” – Antonio Galloni
Read review online at VinousMedia.com (subscription required)
California Grapevine (Vol. 41, May 2015): 90 Points. “Medium-dark ruby; initially tight, cedary, briary, black cherry and red berry fruit aroma with hints of cigar box, cracked pepper, and graphite; full body; rich, supple, briary, black cherry and raspberry fruit flavors with good depth and vibrant acidity; medium-full to full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Initially a bit shy, the wine developed with airing in the glass. Very highly recommended.”
Average Rating: 90.0
No. of Tasting Notes: 103
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