2010 Ridge Vineyards "East Bench" Dry Creek Zinfandel
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Ridge’s 2010 Zinfandel East Bench is strikingly beautiful. It is 100% Zinfandel, so varietal nuance is at the forefront. Sweet red cherries, freshly cut flowers and spices waft from the glass in this gorgeous offering. The tannins are still quite firm, but this will be a great wine once the tannins soften. Crystalline notes add a fabulous element of purity on the finish. If anything, the August heat spikes were a help rather than a hindrance here. At $28 a bottle, the East Bench is one of the great values in American wine and a true standout at any price. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Opaque violet color. Cherry-vanilla and blueberry aromas are complicated by notes of mocha, cola and peppery spices. Broad, fleshy and sweet on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering sweet black and blue fruit qualities and a suave floral pastille nuance. Youthfully firm tannins add shape and grip to a long, intensely perfumed finish.
Ridge has been producing the "East Bench" Zinfandel since 2006, made from fruit sourced from this vineyard situated on the eastern bench of the ridge overlooking Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley. All estate fruit, all hand-harvested and fermented naturally using native yeasts, the 2010 was aged for thirteen months in 100% air-dried american oak barrels (20% new). It exhibits classic Dry Creek plum and briary aromas and flavors, with puff pastry and baking spice accents. It is richly layered and full in the mouth, with concentrated fruit flavors, along with earthy, herbal undertones that come forward with air. The finish is intense and spicy.