Ridge Vineyards, East Bench Zinfandel, 2019, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, USA
East Bench is a single vineyard Zinfandel produced from vines planted around 20 years ago, overlooking Dry Creek Valley, in the famous Sonoma area of California. The entire vineyard is comprised of 100% zinfandel grapes.
This ruby red wine is very approachable now. It’s elegant fruit flavours pair well with many different foods, including pasta and meat dishes, particularly lamb.
Located on the benchland on the far Eastern edge of Dry Creek Valley north of the town of Healdsburg, this vineyard is an ideal place to grow zinfandel. This vineyard has a long viticultural history - the original vines were abandoned in the early 1900’s but have been replanted over the last thirty years. Ridge’s East Bench is produced from vines that were planted in 2000 and 2001.
The vineyard sits high atop the bench land that overlooks Dry Creek Valley from the east. The soil in this benchland vineyard was formed approximately 80 million years ago. A blend of clay loam with ancient river rock, it is iron-rich and reddish in colour. The soils are identical across the bench as are the climatic conditions giving the vines the chance to demonstrate their distinctive character as they mature fully.
The 2019 is Ridge's fifteenth release and favourable spring weather created ideal conditions for a full crop. The organic grapes were hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed; fermented on the indigenous yeast, followed by a full malolactic fermentation. The wine has spent twelve months in barrel ageing - 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).
Ready to drink now, this pure zinfandel will also develop over the next seven years.
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.
East Bench, Dry Creek Valley
What the critics say:
94 Points: James Suckling (Jamessuckling.com)
"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.”