100% Zinfandel – Organically Grown
94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
94 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
92 Points – William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
90 Points – Tim Fish, Wine Spectator
Dry Creek Valley
Blackberry, cocoa licorice on the nose. Full-bodied palate with fig and plum fruit, chalky tannins, mineral and chaparral notes on the finish. JO (12/17)
After two short harvests, the vines set a full crop. Each parcel was picked and crushed to separate fermentors. Natural yeast fermentations were slow but steady; we limited pump-overs to once daily to manage tannin extraction. After malolactic we chose six of the seven blocks for their depth of fruit, color and structure. Approachable as a young wine, this fine zinfandel will be at its best over the next eight years.
Ridge has made the East Bench as a single vineyard since 2006, one of the few Ridge zinfandels that is 100% zinfandel. The vineyard sits high atop the bench land that overlooks Dry Creek Valley from the east
Rainfall: 38 inches
Weather: Wet December and January help ease the drought which emphatically ended in March. Cool weather in April reduced our crop a bit. Harvest started early September and finished quickly.
Harvest Dates: 1 -5 September
Grapes: Average brix 25.4˚
Fermentation: Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; once daily pump-overs; pressed at twelve days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new, 40% one and two years old, 40% three and four years old).
Aging: Eleven months in barrel
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; 0.8 % water addition during fermentation; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 45 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
Vinous Media (Aug 2018): 94 Points “The 2016 Zinfandel East Bench is supported by bright acids that give the wine the tension and energy that are typical of Dry Creek. Primary sweet red and purplish berry fruit notes are pushed forward in this vibrant, beautifully delineated pure Zinfandel. Readers may want to cellar the 2016 for a few years, as it is tightly wound today, but all the elements are impeccably balanced. The East Bench abuts the Syrah block at Lytton Springs. Put simply: what a wine!” – Antonio Galloni
JamesSuckling.com (Nov 2018): 94 Points “Very fresh and juicy, fruit-focused zinfandel with a raspberry and fresh red-plum core of juicy and quite elegant fruit. An exuberant style with vitality and energy, as well as length and depth. Pure zinfandel. Drink or hold.” – James Suckling
JebDunnuck.com (February 2019): (93 Points). “Made from 100% Zinfandel, the 2016 Zinfandel East Bench comes from a site just beside Lytton Springs and is another charming, beautifully pure wine from this estate that should be snatched up by readers. Offering medium-bodied notes of blueberries, mulberries, crushed flowers, and spice, it has plenty of sweet fruit, beautiful balance, and the purity of fruit that’s the hallmark of this great vintage. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck
The Wine Advocate (May 2018): 92 Points. “The 2016 Zinfandel East Bench offers up classic aromas of blackberry, cherry pit, warm spices and licorice. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with velvety tannins, an ample core of succulent fruit and lovely balance. Generous and structurally open-knit, this is already delicious, but it should be well worth following for the next 8 years or more.” – William Kelley
Wine Spectator (Jun 2018): 90 Points. “Offers an appealing briary structure accented by bright cherry, smoky dill and pepper flavors that linger on the crisp finish. Drink now through 2024.” – T.F.
Average Rating: 89.3
No. of Tasting Notes: 45
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