100% Zinfandel – Organically Grown
95 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com
94 Points – James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
93 Points – Wine Enthusiast
Dry Creek Valley
Ruby red color, focused cherry notes on the nose with toasty oak. On the palate, raspberry fruit with elegant tannins and an accent of mint on the finish. JO (1/21)
This is our fifteenth release from this 100% zinfandel vineyard. Favorable spring weather created ideal conditions for a full crop. To maximize color and flavor, we macerated the fermenting grapes for a week on average. After assembling seven of the eight parcels, the finished wine displays classic peppery red fruit typical of Dry Creek. Enjoyable upon release, this pure zinfandel will develop over the next seven 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: 61.2 inches (above normal)
Weather: Total rainfall for the season was almost double our usual amounts. The vines responded with bountiful yields of great quality.
Harvest Dates: 10 – 26 September
Grapes: Average Brix 24.4˚
TA: 5.87 g/L
Fermentation: Natural primary and natural secondary (malolactic) fermentations; once daily pump-overs; pressed at seven days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (20% new, 20% one year-old, 20% three year-old, 30% four years-old and 10% five years-old).
Aging: Twelve months in barrel
Hand-harvested; estate-grown organic grapes; destemmed and crushed; fermented on the indigenous yeast, followed by a full malolactic on the naturally occurring bacteria; oak from barrel aging; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (50 ppm at crush, 89 ppm during aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.
JebDunnuck.com: 95 Points “Based on 100% Zinfandel, the 2019 Zinfandel East Bench has a great perfume of red plums, wild strawberries, and flowery incense, with just hints of cigar and dried orange peel emerging with time in the glass. While it’s not a blockbuster, it brings gorgeous intensity and richness in a medium-bodied, weightless, elegant package that delivers ripe tannins and notable acidity.” -Jeb Dunnuck (July 2021)
JamesSuckling.com: 94 Points “Fresh, almost pinot-like sensibility with the mouth feel. A beautifully spread wine that fills the palate, but maintains freshness and brightness. Real purity of fruit here. Lots of black and red cherry. Citrus undertones. 100% zinfandel. Drink now.” -James Suckling (March 2021)
Wine Enthusiast: 93 Points “Amazingly deep and seductive fruit aromas like freshly crushed blackberries are followed by concentrated black fruits and moderate tannins in this bold and full-bodied wine. Its ripeness verges on sweetness and is delicious to savor. ” -Jim Gordon (August 2021)
Wine Spectator: 90 Points “A gutsy Zin. Appealingly rustic, with accents of briar patch, cherry and grilled fennel that build tension toward medium-grained tannins. Best from 2022 through 2030.” -T.F. (June 2021 Issue)
Connoisseurs’ Guide: 90 Points “Fairly full in body and nicely fruited in a ripe yet very much alive style, the wine smells of blackberry with a light touch of peppery spice at the margins. It follows through well on the palate, and while its tannins get a tad gritty, they are no more than the wine can handle. It certainly could drink now, but we would counsel that a few years of age will help.” (July 2021)
Average Rating: 90.9
No. of Tasting Notes: 30
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